Birmingham

Birmingham: Finding America’s Sweet Home in Alabama

If you live outside the American southeast, you probably don’t come across many people from Birmingham. It’s the largest city in Alabama, but with a population of just over a million people, it doesn’t rank among the nation’s major metropolises. You can probably sing along with Lynyrd Skynyrd when “Sweet Home Alabama” comes on the […]

Barcelona

Barcelona

A Mediterranean port city tucked among the hills of Spain’s northeastern coastline, Barcelona’s corridors of winding streets speak to more than a millennium of history. Yet, with a lively culinary and bar scene, and displays of modern fashion and politically charged graffiti, the Catalonian capital’s charm comes from the vibrance of constantly juxtaposing the old […]

Venice

Venice, A Feast for the Eyes

The historic merchant city may be famous for serenading gondoliers meandering through labyrinthian canals, elaborately costumed Carnevale, and seasonal flooding during the acqua alta, but there is so much more that comprises the essence of this floating city. One only needs to look upon the iconic Rialto Bridge crossing the Grand Canal or the Basilica […]

Miami Beach

Finding My Zen (Again and Again) in Miami Beach

I grew up in Florida, but never wandered southeast down the 268 miles to Miami Beach. I didn’t see the point: my hometown, St. Petersburg, is a peninsula, so I was never far from the beach, fresh seafood, and sun-kissed skin. Besides, my vision of Miami included bronzed bodies in Brazilian bikinis, convertibles blasting obnoxious music, sweaty clubs full of seizure-inducing strobe lights and […]

Rancho-la-Puerta

Rancho La Puerta

Nourishing Body, Mind & Spirit at the World’s First Destination Spa & Fitness Ranch Crisp mountain air fills up my lungs as I breathe heavily in the light of the early morning. As I make my final ascent to the summit of the rocky mountain, my legs burn in the best possible way. I follow the narrow path around prickly shrubs and […]

Napa

Napa, California

There are a lot of reasons to love Napa, California: the stunning vistas, the glorious California weather, the relaxed atmosphere, world class dining (yes, even gluten-free), and of course the wine. When most people speak of Napa, they are actually referring to the Napa Valley – a world famous 30-mile wine region located just an […]