Packing light has become my new obsession. I’m constantly trying to streamline my suitcase with versatile and stylish pieces and clever, carry-on friendly cosmetics. Perfume hasn’t made the cut in my bag lately, but I just discovered this great solid perfume from Tocca at Catbird boutique in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
I’m not afraid to admit that I really dig L.A. – especially after a recent visit to Venice Beach. We stayed at the newly renovated Hotel Erwin, a block from the boardwalk with an incredible rooftop bar called High (perfect name for the ‘hood). Yes, Venice has the wacky, medical marijuana-induced boardwalk scene but it’s also got a super-hip main drag, Abbot Kinney. The mood at The Erwin fell somewhere in between.
I love Ray-Ban Wayfarers, they’re classically hip. And since I’m always looking to pack tight, I was thrilled to find these brilliant, folding Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses – the perfect travel sunglasses. Rachel Bilson agrees.
Here’s how small they fold. I’m going to upgrade my New Wayfarers to these. Just wish I had them for my trip to Virginia Beach this weekend.
What are you sporting this summer?
Okay, sure, there was some shopping, too. And eating. And celeb-sighting, as it turns out. (Octomom of all people! And man, does she look cra-zy in person!) But to truly appreciate Palm Springs you have to get out into the desert backcountry and get a handle on where exactly you are, which is pretty much the middle of nowhere. I discovered the desert brings with it a host of lure and atmosphere, even a smell, and an interesting peacefulness. Here are some highlights of my trip, which I wrote about in my latest piece for New York magazine Get Lost in the Desert in Palm Springs. Continue reading
What?! You’re probably thinking. Yes, yes, I know Key West is known for its drag scene, Buffet-loving Parrotheads and spring breakers, but I was aiming for a fanny-pack-free trip to the Conch Republic. And thanks to Chris Shultz from The Porch and his local crew for showing me the way.
Key West is weird in all the right ways. More New Orleanslike than I expected. I sought out a less-tacky and touristy, more edgy way to experience the southernmost point in the U.S. So that’s what I wrote about in my new piece for New York magazine, “Be a Grown-up in Key West.”
And make no mistake, being a grown up doesn’t mean you have to stay sober.
[pictured above: La Creperie in the colorful Bahama Village neighborhood.]
Hotels are so passe, didn’t you know? As we continue our search for authentic travel experiences a new trend has emerged: Renting someone else’s sweet pad instead of feeling like a tourist in a Doubletree.
My latest travel story came out as part of New York magazine’s Winter Travel feature, a package devoted entirely to the art of crashing at someone else’s place. I wrote about the converted barn, above, on Long Island’s North Fork and what’s new in the area. The short answer: Plenty!
Read the full piece after the jump. Continue reading
Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor Katrina Garnett recently launched My Little Swans, a luxury family travel web site for adventurous families looking for one-of-a-kind adventures that involve things like lunch at a Bedoin camp in Jordan and sailing Alaska’s Inside Passage on a private yacht. Unlike her previous, very-techie businesses, this one was born out of Garnett’s hobby: She’s originally from Australia and she and her husband regularly take their three children on ambitious trips across the globe.
Garnett’s not intimidated by traveling with kids, instead she’s passionate about the advantages of exposing children to world cultures. MyLittleSwans.com aims to cut out the travel agent by featuring itineraries from her many trips with restaurant, hotel, shopping and other suggestions of places she and her concierge partners have personally vetted. Plus, the site’s selected list of tour operators in each of those destinations can arrange for custom adventures from a backstage tour of a Chinese opera to a hiking trip with the Maasai tribe in Tanzania.
Garnett – and by extension her site – is like that in-the-know friend always up on the newest, hottest and best. But she also shares the little-known, like her personal watchmaker in Switzerland and jeweler in Paris. She spent two years and more than $2 million of her own money developing the site and made sure it included a social media aspect, which she believes is essential for web 2.0 success. We chatted with this firecracker over drinks at New York’s Gramercy Tavern and asked her to Tell Us Everything.
Read my full interview with Katrina at Luxist.com.
Drop it All and Move to Mexico
Riviera Maya, the 75-mile coastline south of Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula still has the white sand and turquoise Caribbean water (and 10-to-one peso-to-dollar exchange), but is thankfully lacking Cancun’s Senor Frogs mentality. Instead it’s got eco-resorts, Mayan ruins and wildlife reserves. The fishing village of Puerto Morelos is a great home base (and just 15 minutes from the airport). It’s remained resort-free with a historic church and center town square surrounded by open air seafood joints. Explore the area’s cenotes – Mayan underground cave and river system – for an exotic snorkeling day trip. Or venture just 1,500-feet offshore to dive with 500 species of fish on the Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Icing on the cake: Rent a one-bedroom, thatched-roof palapa steps from the beach for $380 a week or $850 a month.Check it Out: http://www.puertomorelosmexico.com/vacation-rentals4.htm
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