The Huffington Post: Hitting Maui's Power Chords

Read more on The Huffington Post about my favorite parts about Maui. 

"Everyone has a story about Hawaii, if you start talking travel. Someone got engaged there, someone went to a wedding there, someone grew up going to their family's condo.

But despite my traveling 200-plus days a year, I had never been until last week, when I explored Maui's greatest hits. Since I was going for the first time, I wanted classic Hawaii: bright leis, ukelele music, fruity cocktails, sunsets, beaches, and luaus. I wanted to know why Maui is continually voted one of the best islands in the world."

Read more here

 

The Huffington Post: Valencia Beyond Calatrava

Happy Labor Day!  You can see my piece on "Valencia Beyond Calatrava" here on The Huffington Post.  My late June trip to Spain was wonderful, with a week in Valencia and two days in Madrid at the Hotel Ritz Madrid (my post on the hotel is here). 

Starchitect Santiago Calatrava's masterpiece of design, the City of Arts & Sciences, has dominated the Valencia cityscape for more than a decade. While the city's pride in the work of its most famous son is well-deserved, Valencia has many other cultural highlights.

I arrived in Valencia on one of the sleek, high-speed trains that now connect the city with Madrid and Barcelona. The ride was such a pleasant experience that I wanted it to last longer.

I wandered around town and ate manchego and tomato sandwiches, which are sold everywhere like mozzarella and tomato in America. I drank glasses of fresh juice from Valencia oranges. (In a nod to local flavor, every Starbucks has an orange squeezing machine.) I craved crunchy bits of paella every day. I tasted the overly sweet local beverage Orxata, made of water, sugar and tigernuts and sold on street corners.

A tour of the City of Arts & Sciences is not to be missed for its space-age, jaw-dropping size, scope and design, but, on a closer look, the gleaming white exteriors show dirt in the cracks, like it needs a giant hose to wash it down. On every visitor's list is the Oceanografic Aquarium and the cool displays at the Museo de Las Ciencias (Science Museum), both equally appealing to both kids and adults.

Beyond Calatrava, here are 10 things I loved about Valencia.

Read more here

 

The Huffington Post: Two Days in Moscow

My visit to Moscow was such a whirlwind, incredible experience. We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Moscow, which added to the "can't believe I'm here" feeling.  I posted room photos on a previous blog about the hotel.  You can see more of my tips for visiting Moscow here on The Huffington Post.

"Golden cathedrals and historic buildings aside, Moscow is experiencing a stirring revival. It is a city moving away from its traditional roots and towards vibrant new art and restaurant scenes. Admittedly, I didn't know much about Russia before my recent visit. My remedy: A quick immersion.

Standing on Red Square and glimpsing the early spring sun reflecting off the brilliant colors of St. Basil's Cathedral took my breath away. Like the layers of the onion-shaped domes dotting the skyline, Moscow began to quickly unravel itself. New adventures were layered over old history."

Read more here

With Andy in Moscow: