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May 2006

April 2006

Champagne: A Spring Thing

Champagne is a serious wine, whatever season, and journalists Don and Petie Kladstrup have given us a delightful political-socio-economic commentary on the remarkable French bubbly in their book, Champagne: How the World's Most Glamorous Wine Triumped Over War and Hard Times. If you're going to France, this is the type of reference that will give you an insider's headstart, and Champagne is one of the regions which delivers a rich travel experience into the real France. Read more →

College Town Getaways: Berkeley's Classy Shopping

A male friend described 4th Street in Berkeley, CA, as "a bunch of shops you don't need" -- which is precisely the point! This is a totally fun shopping (and dining) destination. We had a wonderful business lunch at Café Rouge, a lively French bistro where the carnivores reign (including the carry-out butcher counter at the rear), and I splurged on truly mouth-watering steak frites. 4th Street -- how can I count thee the ways? Read more →

Last Stop West: Playa del Rey

If Key West is the southernmost point in the US, then surely its West Coast sibling, Playa del Rey, one of the beach villages of Los Angeles, has some claim to being the last toehold on the Pacific side of the continent. This is, of course, a totally inaccurate statement geographically (as there are indeed and points west of Playa), but spiritually it is not -- Playa del Rey has the genuine funky lack of pretense that Key West wished it still retained. Read more →

Blogging for Paris

We travel bloggers are a busy lot, and hotel chains are jumping onboard. The new blog from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., called "The Lobby" and aimed at Starwood Preferred Guests and frequent travelers, has novel information about practical travel, destinations and some great links, like this Da Vinci Code walking tour in Paris à la Dan Brown's novel. Read more →

Paris Fashionistas' Thrifty Chic

Don't be fooled by the upscale Parisian fashionistas -- many of them are wearing designer clothing recycled from someone else's closet. That's because thrift store shopping is a hot new trend in the city, as are chic shopping tours led by professional insiders and informal strolls through neighborhoods like the Marais. Read more →

Align Your Chakras in Sedona

Sedona, Arizona, is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful destinations in the US -- with its mesas and mountains of red rock -- and also has become one of the most expensive, popular now with celebs and the condo and retiree crowds. Fortunately the environment's natural harmonies can still be vigorously harnessed through ample New Age travel experiences, which draw on Native American legacies to align the majestic wisdom of heaven and earth. Read more →