We Are Home! And 13 Twitter Personalities To Follow in 2013

Thank you for voting on Christopher Elliott's poll for 13 Travel Twitter Personalities To Follow in 2013! I got second place, with National Geographic's Andrew Evans in first and travel host Peter Greenberg in third. Talk about great company!

After nearly a week without power, we returned to our apartment in Greenwich Village this morning. This entire week made me love our life in New York even more, though obviously I wanted to be home. I feel even luckier to live in this city that has pulled together like it did, and with such good friends nearby.

If you're looking for Broadway show ideas, we saw The Heiress last night (with Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens!), and really enjoyed it. Since we live so close to Washington Square, I loved that the setting was the park in the 1850's.

We crashed with our good friends that live in Carnegie Hill on the Upper East Side and it was fun to really get to know the neighborhood. It has a wonderful community feel (we've started calling our friend Mel the mayor of Carnegie Hill - she knows everyone!) and is one of the best places to raise a family in Manhattan. I loved visiting The Corner Bookstore, which was the inspiration for the little bookstore in You've Got Mail; Kitchen Arts & Letters, which carries only cookbooks and books relating to food & drinks; Caffe Grazie & Sarabeth's for meals out; and Yura on Madison for delicious prepared foods and coffee in the morning.

New York still has a lot of rebuilding to do - here is a great list of opportunities to volunteer or donate in the aftermath.

My Favorite Posts of 2011

We're all in a mode of 2011 reflection right now.  My priorities also include Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joe's and pretend shopping for a dog on animal shelter sites (kills me! yet play shopping may soon become real).  But I'm also making lists of goals and To Do's, including spending more time in England, Scotland & France this year, going to Africa, and continuing to build my writing portfolio and work with GOOD PEOPLE. 

Here are my favorite posts of the past year, on my journey of chronicling hotels, travel and New York City.

If you're not familiar with my Type A list of 2,600+ hotels I want to visit around the world, click here for "Yes, I'm a Hotel Nut"

I'm one of Christopher Elliott's 12 Travel Blogs to Read in 2012.

NEW YORK CITY:

A day in Red Hook, Brooklyn, which is changing every day

Spending the day with NYC chocolate icon Jacques Torres 

Taking America's Oldest Bike Path to Coney Island 

The Tiffany Suite at the St. Regis Hotel 

The River Cafe made my bad day excellent 

The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden 

HAWAII:

CHINA

INDIA

  • Each hotel was better than the next, but seeing the Taj Mahal (especially from the Oberoi Tajvilas rooms) was beyond anything I'd expected

THE HAMPTONS

RUSSIA

JORDAN

CANADA

RHODE ISLAND

 ARIZONA

CHICAGO

  • A 21st birthday celebration for my brother at the best city hotel plus baseball, hot dogs, & bars

SPAIN

CALIFORNIA

DUBAI

RANDOM FAVORITES:

  • My National Geographic Intelligent Travel interview with Travel Channel's Samantha Brown
  • My interview with best-selling author Adriana Trigiani, who loves NYC as much as I do
  • My interview with Bachelorette Trista Sutter on her favorite hotels
  • My Travel + Leisure post on Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which has received almost 2,400 Facebook "likes" on their site (a record!).

Christopher Elliott: 12 Travel Bloggers You Should Read in 2012

I made this list! I am grateful to all who voted for me and helped spread the word.  A big congratulations to all who made the list, all writers that inspire me with their adventures. I've admired Peter Greenberg & Johnny Jet for years, followed NatGeo's Digital Nomad Andrew Evans around the world this year, and have enjoyed discovering the others on the list.

If you're not familiar, Christopher Elliott is a journalist, nationally syndicated columnist, and National Geographic Traveler's consumer Advocate.  His writing is always thought-provoking, original, and smart.

Click here for Elliott's post.  I'm number 7 on the list.

I'm on my way back to Arizona for Christmas-cannot wait to be back. Six months is too long for me to go without seeing the mountains and Valley of the Sun.

Top 11 New Travel Blogs

I just returned from a wonderful week in Spain and while I was exploring my room at the Hotel Ritz Madrid (with a VIEW of the Prado Museum!), I found out that Christopher Elliott, National Geographic's consumer advocate and all-around awesome guy, named my little blog one of the Top 11 New Travel Blogs for 2011

It is still amazing to me that I am building a career on something that I borderline obsess about.  Chris nailed it when he said "If the hotel is the destination for you, you'll want to bookmark her blog."  It makes such a huge difference where you stay and it doesn't have to cost a fortune.  I travel so much for work and love posting about the hotels I visit and stay at.  Thank you, Chris, for the mention.

And now I must continue sorting through the hundreds of photos I took, including this one of Santiago Calatrava's STUNNING City of Arts & Sciences in Valencia.