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May 2021

the where we’re going next issue

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re we finally on the road back to normal? I like to think we are. Everyone I speak with is ready to get on the road and just go somewhere, anywhere. While many tell me that they will stay close to home or travel domestically, some—including yours truly— are heading overseas as soon as we can.

Our writers dedicate this issue to the places we intend to go as soon as we can. Some of our writers are already traveling. Enjoy their trips to Death Valley, the Gulf Coast, a Miami market, and Palm Springs. Others are preparing trips near (Washington State, Delaware, Minneapolis) and far (Italy, Taiwan, Greece, Cape Town). We’re going for the wine (Bordeaux), the food (Bologna and Modena), the thermal waters (Hungary). We’re just going to go. Some friends have told me that they are afraid to fly, but having been on a domestic flight last month, I can assure you that the airlines are taking every precaution to clean the planes before you board. The recycled air, which seems to be a major concern, really should not be. Sixty percent of cabin air comes from outside of the plane, and forty percent flows through the planes’ HEPA system. This NYTimes article explains it well. On another note, Abbott Labs has made returning to the United States from international destinations easier. Be sure to check out the article about the BinaxNow Home Test on page 69. Our next issue will be a special issue on the city of St. Petersburg, Florida. Look for it at the end of June. No matter where you’re heading next, we hope you enjoy the journey with us. Safe travels!

Chris

Magazine Layout & Design Christine Cutler

Editorial Board

Debbra Dunning Brouilette David Drotar MaryFarah Irene Levine Noreen Kompanik

Kathy Merchant David Nershi Robyn Nowell Amy Piper Jan Smith

Contributing Writers/Photographers So a Bournatzi Norm Bour Debbra Dunning Brouillette Judi Cohen Jeanine Consoli Michael Cullen Christine Cutler Andrew Der Elsa Dixon Diane Dobry Robin Dohrn-Simpson Noreen Kompanik

Sharon Kurtz Debi Lander Linda Milks Susan Montgomery Todd Montgomery Lisa Morales Elizabeth Orient Amy Piper Valerie Rogers Cori Solomon Wendy VanHatten Priscilla Willis

Special Correspon-dogs: Bella and Catie

On the cover: St John Byzantine Monastery Serres © So a Bournatzi

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letter from the editor

Christine Cutler | Executive Editor Amy Piper | Managing Editor Debbra Dunning Brouilette | AssociateEditor Noreen Kompanik | Associate Editor Irene Levine | Assistant Editor Jan Smith | Assistant Editor, Columns Mary Farah | Marketing Manager Paula Shuck | Marketing

All articles & photographs are copyright of writer unless otherwise noted. No part of this publication may be reproduced without express written permission.

Contact

Editor: chris@fwtmagazine.com IFWTWA: admin@ifwtwa.org Visit our website: fwtmagazine.com


8 Central Macedonia Greece – Where the local past becomes the global future

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Return to Riviera Maya

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Alabama’s Gulf Coast: A Foodie’s Paradise

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My Covid-19 Travel Silver Lining—Combining Local Road Trips with Small-Ship Cruising Close to Home in Canada

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The Islands of Washington

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Greece and Albania

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Don Julio—a Buenos Aires Meat Lover’s Paradise

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When We Can Travel Again—France

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Exploring Death Valley

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Enjoying Dog Days in Palm Springs

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Where am I Going Next? Taiwan!

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Dreaming of Bordeaux

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If Found, Please Return to Milfontes, Portugal

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Feeding One’s Soul As Restrictions Ease

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My Top 5 Places to Go When I Can Travel Again

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I’ll Be Living My Dream (Italy)

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Cape Town Calling—My Favorite Places Around Table Mountain

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Washing Away a Year’s Woes on a Water-Infused Getaway: Hungary, My Home Away From Home

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If I Could Turn Back Time, I Would Have Bought That 5-pound Bag of Pasta

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The Splendors of Northern Italy

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Hightailing it to Minneapolis to Meet my Two ‘New’ Aunts

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BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Test: Making International Travel Easier

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Delaware’s Hidden Season


Central Macedonia Greece – Where the local past becomes the global future By So a Bournatzi

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n the beginning of time, the mighty Gods dominated peoples’ lives from their divine Mount Olympus in the Pieria region. The highest Greek mountain, surrounded by lush forests and emerald sea, hides its peaks in the clouds. People from all over the ancient world visited to pray and honor the twelve Olympian Gods The ruler of the land around Mount Olympus was the King of Macedonia. The rst kingdom’s capital was Aigai, known today as Vergina in Imathia; the last was Pella. The Macedonian Royal Court hosted personalities such as Hippocrates and Euripides. In the 4th century BC, King Phillip II managed to expand the borders of the kingdom by conquering big parts of the rest of Greece. He invented many military tactics that are still taught today. King Phillip II shaped the circumstances that allowed his son Alexander to become “Great.” The young prince had the best education. His father asked his friend Aristotle to teach Alexander and his friends. Aristotle was born in Stagira-Halkidiki and agreed under the terms that the King would rebuild his city that was destroyed after Phillip’s attack. Aristotle’s school was an open-air place in Mieza-Imathia. After Phillip’s assassination, Alexander became the king and left for his campaign from the port of Amphipolis in Serres. Alexander died in Babylon at the age of 33. His vast empire was divided in four pieces and his generals became kings in each. One was King Ptolemy, the ancestor of Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. Another was King Cassander, the ruler of

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forces against the Central Powers and the turning point of their nal victory.

Greece who married Alexander ’s half-sister, Thessaloniki, and founded a city to honor her. The rising of the Roman Empire established Thessaloniki as one of the political, intellectual and commercial centers. The city was in the heart of the ancient Via Egnatia that connected the eastern with the western part of Greece. Due to the high education of the residents, Paul, the Apostle of the Nations, chose them to preach the message of Christianity. The new religion was rst accepted by the people of Veria, the capital of Imathia. When the Romans transferred their capital from Rome to Constantinople, a new era had begun. The Byzantine Empire left its marks all over Greece. In Thessaloniki, a big number of monuments and churches of this period are today included in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The monastic community of Mount Athos in Halkidiki recently celebrated 1000 years of continuous presence as the center of the Orthodox religion.

Greece entered WWII in 1940, ghting Italy at the Greek-Albanian borders. The German army created a second front to invade from Bulgaria. The Greeks defended the borders from the forti cations of the “Metaxas Line” that was constructed a few months before the “Battle of the Forts” in Serres and Drama. The WWII circle of blood did not only cost the lives of the soldiers but destroyed villages and communities. The worst act was the extermination of almost 50.000 people from the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki and some thousands from Veria and Serres So many things have happened in Central Macedonia, Greece through centuries. People learned in time how to preserve their history, cherish their heritage, and revive their tradition. The cities, towns and villages were constructed over the buried past and are reformed for a sustainable future. The people are warm and hospitable, open to new ideas as they learned from the elders, who learned from Aristotle

The importance of the region was signi cant also during the 500 years of Ottoman occupation, as towns and monuments prove. Although the region of Macedonia participated in the Greek Independence War of 1821, it wasn’t until 1912-1913 that it was liberated after a series of battles during the Balkan Wars. The outbreak of WWI by the ENTENTE forces shaped a new front in Thessaloniki, the Macedonian Front. In 1916, more than 600,000 men from six armies — Greek, British, French, Russian, Serbian, and Italian — had camped outside the city of Thessaloniki and fought in the battle eld of Kilkis and Serres. The Battle of Skra di Legen in 1918 was the rst victorious battle of the Allied

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Photos, clockwise from bottom left: White Tower UNESCO Thessaloniki;WWI Interallied Memorial Kilki; Altar of St Paul Veria Imathia; Ancient Pella Archaeological Museum; Heroic City of Naoussa Park Imathia; Traditional boats Neos Marmaras Halkidiki; Ancient Stagira - Aristotle land Halkidiki


Return to Riviera Maya By Noreen Kompanik

Akumal Bay

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Playa Ruinas overlooking the Caribbean Sea

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asta que nos encontremos de nuevo, Riviera Maya—until we meet again. This was our fond but sad farewell as our plane took off from Mexico on our last visit there

adventure excursions. And resort restaurants were simply outstanding This return trip, our reservation is with UNICO, another luxury all-inclusive set on the stunning beaches of Riviera Maya.

Hugging the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, Riviera Maya encompasses an 80-mile stretch between the popular resort city of Cancún in the north and the Mayan ruins of Tulum to the south

Exploring Magical Mayan Ruin

Its ‘Riviera’ moniker is well deserved. Beaches are magni cent, as are its tourmaline waters with spectacular o ff s h o re c o r a l re e f s i d e a l f o r snorkeling and diving. Add in magical Mayan ruins, fascinating cenotes surrounded by a jungle-y paradise and incredible cuisine, and Riviera Maya has become one of our favorite family destinations.

When the Mayans built their marvelous cities thousands of years ago, their technology was utterly impressive. Tulum, perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the crystalline waters of the Caribbean Sea is one of the last to be built by the Mayans, and its archeological sites are very much intact. Tulum is one of the most preserved historic coastal sites in all of Mexico, and the only Mayan city built along the water. Rumored to have some the world’s most magical energy, its main temple, El Castillo, was expertly designed by astronomers. Constructed in direct alignment with the summer solstice, sunrise on this day shines directly through a series of windows and into other structures.

Hasta que nos encontremos de nuevo

Staying in Riviera May We never used to be fans of all-inclusive resorts. That is until COVID, and then of course, making certain we’re choosing the right one. With safety and security top concerns, we had a wonderful experience at the magni cent Grand Residences Riviera Cancun, located near Playa Del Carmen. This resort had everything we needed— beautifully appointed rooms, luxury pools, swim up bars, white sandy beaches overlooking turquoise waters, and a central location for

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Dos Ojos Cenote

Visiting the Cenote Sacred to the ancient Mayans, cenote (sen-o-tay) means “sacred well.” Cenotes are geological freshwater sinkholes formed thousands of years ago when limestone ground caved in, creating underwater reservoirs. These cenotes were vital to Mayan society providing a critical water source


during times of drought. They were also believed to be secret entrances to the underworld Dos Ojos (Two Eyes) was one of our favorites. Located on a nature preserve, two cenotes connect into a large cavern forming one of the longest underwater cave systems in the world. The crystal clear, azure water was refreshingly cool and pure, providing a welcome respite from the heat of the day—and a spectacular setting for exploring, cave diving and snorkeling

Playing in Akumal Ba Though the beaches all throughout Riviera Maya are immaculate and breathtaking, one of our favorites is Akumal Bay. This “place of turtles,” a delightful stretch of sand and crystalline waters is a natural refuge for sea turtles laying their eggs on Half Moon Bay Beach from May through November. Its wide stretch of stunning beaches encompasses a series of ve bays. The protected offshore reefs are ideal for swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, or exploring its underground rivers. The peaceful beachfront and palapas enticed us to chill with a cold margarita and Mexican beer after our snorkeling adventure

Dining in Paradis We’ve had some of the best Mexican cuisine in Riviera Maya. And our mouths are already watering knowing what’s in store on our next upcoming trip. One of our best foodie experiences was dining in a candlelit 10,000-year-old cavern. Alux Restaurant (pronounced a-loosh) located in the heart of Playa del Carmen takes its name from sprite-like mythical Mayan entities said to appear at night seeking places to hide and play. The underground restaurant rambles through a grand spectacle of natural rock formations with stunning stalagmites and stalactites. Food is lavish and tantalizing with affordable offerings from the land and sea with a Mayan twist. And of course, we kept our eyes open for the mischievous sprites Thanks to fresh bounties from the sea, ceviche in Riviera Maya is incredible no matter the venue. Our favorite happens to be Punta Bonita at Rosewood Mayakoba. We’re certain the spectacular panoramic views of the Caribbean also helped make for an unforgettable lunch, but the Mexican ceviche here is spectacular We counting the days to experience our glorious Caribbean paradise again. And we can’t wait!

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Photos from top: Akumal Beach; Grand Residences Riviera Cancun; Dining at Alux- 10,000 year-old cavern; Ceviche at Punta Bonita


Discover more Here

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Alabama’s Gulf Coast: A Foodie’s Paradise By Amy Piper

Voyagers - Cold Seafood Platter

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hen you think about Alabama’s Gulf Coast, the food may not be the rst thing that comes to mind. After all, the coast has amazing sugar-sand beaches, so you may imagine soaking up the sun on the beach, wiggling your toes in the sand while the gentle waves roll in, and you breathe in the fresh saltwater scented air. You might imagine the active lifestyle of hiking and biking at one of the many outdoor areas in Gulf Shore State Park. But through all that activity and fresh air, you’re going to work up an appetite and require some sustenance. And the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach food scene doesn’t disappoint. Fresh Gulf Coast seafood, southern specialties like pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes, and a farm-to-table, sustainable ethos make a memorable food scene. Add to those restaurants with waterfront views, and you’ll yearn to return for that next Gulf Coast foodie experience. Here are three restaurants with unique characteristics you won’t want to miss

The Anchor Bar and Gril

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When servers from another restaurant recommend a burger, you know you’re on to something. That’s just what happened with Chef Jonathan Kastner’s More in Than Out Burger at Anchor Bar and Grill in Orange Beach. The 12

Safari Club - Shrimp Tacos.

burger’s complexity makes it unique. The chef butters the locally made brioche bun and toasts it on the press. He puts two Louisiana Wagyu beef patties on the at top, spreading them with Anchor beer mustard made in-house, and seared it into the patties. The mustard is an homage to the In-N-Out Burger from California. After ipping the burgers, the chef tops one with the house-made tomato jam and the other with house-made onion jam. He accents each burger with an American cheese slice and stacked one patty on top of the other. Next, he spreads the bun with house-made Wickle Pickle relish from Alabama Wickle Pickles. The relish is Anchor Bar’s answer to Thousand Island Dressing. They add crispy iceberg lettuce and top it with the patties, then the top bun for a crunch. Enjoy that More in Than Out Burger overlooking the stunning waterfront views of Terry Cove

The Safari Clu Boston’s Green Restaurant Group differentiated the Safari Club as Alabama’s rst certi ed “Green Restaurant.” The restaurant continuously improves as an energy-ef cient operation and leads the charge in conservation, waste reduction, and recycling. What you won’t nd here are plastic straws or Styrofoam products. All the to-go containers are bio-degradable or recyclable. They

Anchor Bar - Brisket Salad


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also have onsite composting. To reduce their carbon footprint, they’ve taken steps to reduce the average two-week, 1,500-mile journey ingredients travel by sourcing them locally. While they contract with local farmers, the restaurant also has a garden onsite that produces fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Located adjacent to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, Executive Chef Greg Buschmohle leads the Safari Club kitchen. His internationally-inspired menu offers items like the Blackened Shrimp Tacos and the Thai Beef Salad. Topped crispy wontons and shallots, the salad features wood-grilled citrus ponzu marinated steak and an Asian vegetable slaw dressed with a lime-soy vinaigrette. The tacos highlight the Gulf Coast’s bounty with shrimp in the south of the border slaw tossed in a jalapeño mango aioli. Add some pickled onions, cotija cheese, and cilantro for a local dish with a new spin. The chef serves the tacos with honey tequila braised plantains that will leave you wanting more

Voyager’s At the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Vo y a g e r s h a s a c e l e b r a t o r y ne-dining

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atmosphere, with panoramic Gulf-front views. Surf and turf are the stars of the show here, with authentic Gulf seafood and a dry-aged steak selection. The seasonal menu re ects regional a v o r s i n i n n o v a t i v e d i s h e s , w h e re t h e presentation is just as appealing as the taste Foodies will nd dishes they may never have seen before, like the Ostrich Carpaccio. They also feature new twists on classics such as the Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi. Yet they’ll nd comforting old favorites, like the 35-day dry-aged steaks. Voyager’s wine list won Wine Spectator’s 2019 Award of Excellence, so you’re sure to nd the perfect wine pairing. Voyagers’ wine list covers eight countries and includes over 130 selections that are temperature and humidity controlled under peak conditions. If in doubt, ask your server for a recommendation As you can see from this restaurant sampling, Alabama’s Gulf Coast offers foodies a variety of experiences, from a casual outdoor setting like the Anchor Bar and Grill to the ne-dining option of Voyagers. Still, no matter the location, the food is fresh and avorful

Photos, from left: Safari Club - Thai Beef Salad; Voyagers - Whole Fish; Voyagers - Dessert Plate

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Anchor Bar - Poke


By Judi Cohen

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s we head into yet another lockdown in Ontario, Canada and with the border between Canada and the United States closed since March 2020, I have set my sights on traveling closer to home. Flights to sun destinations and to several Canadian cities have also been cancelled.

With a little research, I have however found  my  silver lining.  I am looking forward to  not one, but two upcoming small-ship adventures right here in Canada in May and June, 2021 My rst adventure will start just two hours away from my home  in Toronto to Kingston, Ontario, where I will set sail on the “Celebration of Spring Cruise” aboard the  Canadian Empress  with St. Lawrence Cruises Lines, www.stlawrencecruiselines.com.   This one-ship, family-owned line is based in Kington, Ontario and started in 1981.

Photos, bottom to top: The Canadian Empress; The Canadian Empress cruising; Oh, Canada

The Canadian Empress  is a replica of the 20th century steamboats that cruised in the Thousand Islands along the St. Lawrence River, and today follow similar itineraries.  We will be sailing from Kingston to Montreal and returning to Kingston as we pass through a number of locks and visit

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My Covid-19 Travel Silver Lining— Combining Local Road Trips with Small-Ship Cruising Close to Home in Canada


the Thousand Islands, Gananoque, Lachine, Cornwall, Morrisburg and Prescott. In 2018, I cruised the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes with Victory Cruise Lines www.victorycruiselines.com, on the Victory II  from Montreal to Detroit that left me wanting to see it all again. My story about this cruise can be found here. https://quirkycruise.com/newvictory-ii-great-lakes-adventure/. I am comfortable with the Covid-19 protocols established by St. Lawrence Cruise Lines that include proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR or antigen test within 72 hours of boarding the vessel. This testing will be required for all passengers regardless of vaccination status. At this time, there is no requirement for Vaccine Certi cations, although both my husband and I have been fully vaccinated since February and would happily present our certi cates. My second adventure will begin in early June with Le Boat, www.leboat.ca, along the UNESCO designated Rideau Canal, starting in Smiths Falls, Ontario on a Horizon boat with just my husband, daughter and our Samoyed puppy, Joni.  We have never captained our own boat, nor are we required to have a boating license, but we are looking forward to learning how to navigate our way through the locks in the Rideau Canal.   We are hard at work planning our itinerary and the stops along the way I’m so hoping I won’t have to postpone or cancel trips I have booked to destinations further away like New York, Israel, Japan and a small-ship cruise with Pandaw River Expeditions www.pandaw.com in Laos and Thailand. However, starting out slow and close to home seems safest in the coming months, and the planning process has actually been an eyeopening experience learning about destinations located in my own backyard in Ontario. Photos, top to bottom: Le Boat; Around the camp re with Le Boat in the background; Sunset on the canal

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The Islands of Washington

By Valerie Estelle Rogers

Mount Constitution

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he anticipation to travel is growing with intensity as the post-pandemic world teases us with the hope of opening up. I can feel my resting heart begin to pound as I compulsively open and reopen my blocked-off calendar dates. In bright bold writing, I read, San Juan Islands! The San Juan Islands make up San Juan County, located in the Salish Sea on the northwestern corner of the state of Washington. Of San Juan County’s 621 square miles, 72 percent of the area is water, and 400 islands make up the rest. Boasting 408 linear miles, San Juan County has the longest marine shoreline than any other county in the country. With four ferry served islands— Lopez, San Juan, Shaw, and Orcas—San Juan and Orcas Island are the most populated and see the highest volume of tourism. On my next trip, I will be visiting these two islands.

Orcas Island Depending on my travel mood, Pebble Cove Farm and Rosario Resort and Spa are two of my favorite places to stay while on Orcas Island. Pebble Cove

Farm is an active organic farm hidden on four acres with its own private beachfront. Friendly animals may join you in the yard, and you are welcome to pick a vine-ripe tomato while on a leisurely walk. In contrast, Rosario Resort dates back to 1906 when Seattle Mayor Robert Moran built a mansion next to the water in hopes of improving his failing health, and it worked. Later, in the 1920’s, he donated approximately 3,000 of his acres from down the road, on what is still Moran State Park today. The historic Rosario Resort is also home to the Moran Museum and Music Room, which features a two-story pipe organ dating back to 1913. Lucky modern-day travelers, like me, can enjoy a concert performed on the vintage organ or on the 1900’s grand Steinway piano On one of my travel days, I’m certain to roll down the windows, turn up some Brandi Carlisle and drive the entire Orcas Island Scenic Byway. The island speed limit is 40 miles per hour, thus

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I’ll take quick stop at the top of Mount Constitution for some scrapbook worthy photos of Canada-inthe-distance and attempt to name all of the mountain peaks I can see. I’ll then nish the day with some wine sipping of The Orcas Project wines at Doe Bay Wine Company in downtown Eastsound.

San Juan Island After a quick ferry ride from Orcas Island to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, the fun continues. With Friday Harbor having the most populated town at 2,500 residents, the activity level can feel almost buzzing. I look forward to the bustling Farmers Market for Westcott Bay Shell sh, grilled fresh with garlic and lemon. Perhaps I’ll hop on Susie’s Moped Rentals and zip around the island on a scooter or better yet, a Scoot Coupe. The art scene is worth noting too. In addition to painting, pottery, leather and glass blowing, it’s hard to top watching Beauty and the Beast performed at the San Juan Community Theater from the front row. There is a high caliber and quality of actors living quietly on these islands, and they periodically come out and showcase their well- crafted talents to unsuspecting audiences. I

was once moved to tears watching a production and eagerly look forward to the day when I can see another performance from this stage. Three Southern Residents Orca pods live in the waters of the Salish Sea, which makes whale watching an exceptionally popular tourist activity. After discovering these whales are endangered, I always do my best to learn more each trip with a visit to the Whale Museum. Did you know that you can Adopt an Orca? Tempting! No trip to the island of San Juan is complete without an afternoon of walking around Roche Harbor, a marina also home to the rst Lime Kiln. Roche Harbor Marina offers 377 slips and can hold 150-foot vessels, and for the sightseer, like me, there is something special when walking along the docks and sneaking peeks into these magni cent yachts.

Oh, so soo I long for travel. Travel lls my soul with wonder, experience, and understanding. It touches my hands and feet, and my heart. Travel introduces new textures, smells, sounds, and, when I am lucky, new friendships. Now, excuse me while I go look at my calendar once again

Photos, clockwise from top left: Doe Bay Wine Company; Roche Harbor; Pebble Cove Farm; Westcott Bay shell sh; Roche Harbor

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making this the perfect combination for a mostrelaxing drive.


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Greece Albania By Norm Bour

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he question, “Where do we go now?” has come up countless times as my girlfriend, Kathleen, and I found ourselves "stuck" in Mexico. What was

intended to be a two-week break after returning to the Western Hemisphere after a stint in Asia has turned into 15 months, and the third week of M a rc h w a s o u r o n e - y e a r

anniversary of arriving in Mexico. Now, I know that you may be thinking, "You're complaining about being stuck in an ocean-close shing village with just 10,000 people, cheap

The amazing coastline

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Photos, from opposite page, left: Krka; Dubrovnik; Krka; Omis

rent, great food, and terri c weather? Well, that does make me sound rather spoiled, but since Kathleen and I left the U.S. permanently in February 2019 and intended to travel the world for six weeks at a time, each time staying at different locations, the idea of being in one place for 52 weeks was a huge adjustment When we left the US, our rst stops were Spain and then then Italy which took care of our 90day allotted stay in the European Union. Our next stop was a country I knew little about, but one we loved and lived in twice in 2019. And it’s also the subject of this story and where we will return to later this year: Croatia

Ah…Croatia Croatia was never on our radar, but it holds a unique distinction of being in the European Union, but not part of what is called the Schengen Zone. That means our 90- day stay does not count against a "normal" European stay. And Croatia is amazing

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We arrived in Split, a beautiful seaside village in May 2019, and lived in a small town just north. The town was teaming with history, a mix of ancient and more modern. The historical highlight in Split town is the Diocletian's Palace, which dates to the 4th century, and is now lled with tourist kiosks, restaurants, and loads of charm. While we lived in the Split area we rented a motorcycle—twice—which I wrote about for a Croatian web site. We rode it along the southbound coast into the walled city of Dubrovnik, which is well known to Game of Thrones fans, since that is the setting Many coastal routes unfortunately do not stay coastal enough, but the 102mile trip hugs the coast for the majority of the time and is beyond spectacular. The waters along the Adriatic Sea called us at every turn of the road. One of the beauties of Croatian travel is that you can stop anywhere on the highway, park your car (or bike) wherever you please, and jump in the water. Of all the 23 countries we visited until we arrived in

Mexico, Croatia was the most charming, and the one that is luring us back But only for 90 days at a time, since that is our limit there We had a return overseas ight scheduled back for September 3rd, but unbeknownst to us, it was cancelled by the airline. I found out only when I went to their site looking for any updates and saw the bad news. Now I’m diligently working with getting our money back since most airlines are only offering credit. So we’ve changed plans and pushed back to October, and from there it's south to Greece for 90 days (which is of cially in the EU), and then on to a brand new focus: Albania, where we can stay for one year on a tourist visa Kathleen and I have no desire to return to the U.S. to live, and we have no home there any longer. After experiencing tropical climates in Mexico and Southeast Asia, we have decided that we are Mediterranean- climate people, and that is where we plan to stay


By Sharon Kurtz

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hen folks travel to Argentina, they generally have three things on their mind: Malbec, meat, and mouthwatering cuisine. Well, that, and fútbol. Even Pope Francis, a native porteño, is quite the passionate fan. When I can travel again, I will be winging my way back to Buenos Aires. The most visited city in South America with its wide boulevards, elegant architecture, and rich European heritage, the Argentinean capital has a distinct character all of its own. I spent two weeks in Buenos A i r e s discovering the city right before the shutdown due to COVID. Divided into well-de ned neighborhoods, each has its own Perfectly prepared medium rare personality and u n i q u e characteristics. With a proud Italian and Spanish heritage, there is serious attention to food and wine here. I stayed in a tiny Airbnb in the hip neighborhood of Palermo Soho. Reminding me of New York City’s Soho with its leafy streets and quirky shops; at sundown and long into the night, the restaurants and bars spill out onto the streets with music everywhere.

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Don Julio—a Buenos Aires Meat Lover’s Paradise One of the best ways to get to know a place, people, and community is experiencing the local culture through its traditions and customs. Eating steak here is a ritual, and if you don't manage to score an invite to a weekend Asado, getting your x at a parrilla is what thousands of porteños do every day. When I joined my fellow guests for a glass of Malbec on my rst night in the communal courtyard of my accommodation, I was thankful for a hot insider tip for my immersion into Argentine culture. Tr a d i t i o n a l steakhouse shows d i n e r s w h a t re a l Argentine Asado is all about. Don Julio, the renowned steakhouse in the city was right around the corner in the heart of Palermo. My new friends advised me to make a reservation fast if I wanted to eat the best steak of my life. The beloved mom-and-pop traditional Asado steakhouse since 1999 was named the Best restaurant in Latin America, known for two sublime standouts—tender beefsteaks and awardwinning wines. Dating back to the 19th century, the building’s charming façade with colorful striped awnings faces a cobbled street corner. The interior brick walls are lined with empty wine bottles converting the rustic space into a welcoming wine


Photos, clockwise from top left: Steak cuts; Grill master at work; Traditional parrilla iron grill; stoking the ames

sanctuary where diners around the world have signed labels of great Argentinian wines with personal handwritten messages. The grill takes center stage, and everything combines perfectly in the discovery of the cuisine representing Argentina in one single meal. The enticing aroma was the rst clue that I’d come to the Mecca of Asad I scored a small table near the action to watch the Asador do his magic as the cooks shifted the red embers in the re pit to create optimum heat for each order. I loved watching the interplay between the grill master and the wait staff—it was like a dance—each working to give the guest the experience they expected and deserved. The service was attentive, even to a guest dining solo. However, if you're an Argentine steakhouse novice that doesn’t speak Spanish, the menu can be somewhat overwhelming.

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Photos, from left: Readying the grill; Steak house interior

My waiter was very thorough and patient, explaining the different cuts of meat and the wine that would pair best, helping me select the Ojo de bife (rib-eye steak), prepared medium rare and perfectly matched with a magni cent Malbec. The accompanying grilled zucchini was the one spot of color on my plate. A traditional chimichurri sauce helped de ne the Argentinian steak house experience; and the beefsteak, well, it was the best I have ever eaten in my life. This Buenos Aries ritual was everything I had hoped for and more. With a full stomach and only a few hours to spare until my ight, I promised myself that this visit would not be my last. I slept the entire ight home, dreaming of when I could return to this enchanting city and have another incomparable meal at Don Julio's.


When We Can Travel Again…

France By Wendy Van Hatten

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Photos from top: Flower market in Nice; Harbor from Cap Canille; Cassis Harbor; Nice promenade


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assport? Check. Packing list? Complete. Euros? Got them. Covid vaccinations? All done. Destination? Nice and Provence. Airline tickets? Wait a minute. Not yet.

At this point in time, we have no clear idea when we can travel to Europe again. For the record, whenever that happens, we are ready. France is rst on the list, with Nice, Saint Remy, Agay, Bandol, Cassis, Vaisonla-Romaine, Avignon, and more depending on our mood.

Why France and why Provence? My husband and I love discovering food and wine. Daily trips to the market, experiencing history rsthand, and wandering through streets and alleys to nd the perfect pair of shoes or container of sel de mer is what travel is all about for us. That means we enjoy a lot of places. To start with, it’s back to France.

Do we have an idea of where we will begin? Of course.

must. Bandol takes us back close to Cassis, where we’ll try more wonderful wines. In Les Baux-deProvence, with its rocky outcrop and ruined castle, we love the Carrieres de Lumieres, a former quarry with a light-based multimedia show projecting images of famous paintings. Picassos on the walls of a quarry? You really have to see it to believe it.

Of course, we plan to head back to Sablet, Gigondas, Avignon, and wherever else we feel like venturing after our morning co ee and croissants.

Maybe it’s another day for wandering the streets of Saint Remy, sampling foods at the street market, or buying hand-crafted glass knobs for my bathroom cabinets at home. Maybe it will be a day for people watching and enjoying the sunshine. The possibilities are almost endless.

Now… when can we buy those airline tickets?

We invite you to join us as we spend a week or so in Nice. Walk along when we once again amble the Promenade des Anglais, gaze at the impossibly blue Mediterranean, and wander through ocher colored streets in search of our next excuse to stop and have a cocktail. The ower market is always a favorite stop to pick up a bouquet of mixed colors and take some pictures of sun owers bigger than my head. This time the Matisse Museum is on our list, as well as the Marc Chagall National Museum.

After a week or so we’ll head east, eventually ending up in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, a favorite town in the Bouches-du-Rhone area of Provence. This is a leisurely road trip, as we stop at some familiar spots and always nd new ones. Why Saint Remy? This centralized small town provides our headquarters for day trips while we search out new places to explore, new foods to enjoy, and favorite wines to drink. Want to feel like you live in Provence? Saint Remy is the town to do just that.

Come on our rst day-trip as we get up early and head to Cassis. Once called the poor man’s St. Tropez, Cassis is no longer treated like a second-class citizen. This shing village with its pastel-colored buildings is probably the best kept secret of the French Riviera. The Mediterranean shows her aqua water turn to deep blue as the sun moves overhead. We will take the winding, narrow, almost death-defying road to the top of Cap Canaille. Trust me, it’s well worth the whiteknuckle drive. Look down on the town, out to sea, and feel like you’re truly on top of the world.

Cassis wines are a not-to-be-missed for us. These special Provence roses are like no others in the world. Due to climate, limestone soil, how the vines are harvested, and where they sit on the hillside all play into the delicate, yet not thin pink wine I like in my glass. Cheers!

Once back in Saint Remy, we’ll plan other days trips. Vaison-la-Romaine, with its largest street market, is a

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Photos from top: Grapes by Cassis; Vaison market spices; Saint Remy market garlic; Olives Saint Remy


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Blowing Sand at Mesquite Sand Dunes in Death Valley


Exploring Death Valley By Debi Lander

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Photos from left: Lone Hiker below Zabriski Point in Death Valley; Sunset at Zabriski Point in Death Valley

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survived the pandemic, got my vaccines, and decided it was time to mask up and travel again. Where did I go? Despite the irony, I chose Death Valley in California. From my childhood days, I recall the television show Death Valley Days and their sponsor, 20Mule Team Borax. Perhaps somewhere in my subconscious mind, those memories nudged me to go visit the place. The diverse National Park claims the highest recorded temperature on Earth (134 degrees) and receives just two inches of rain per year. It is the largest national park in the lower 48 with an unbelievable 1,000 miles of roadways. That means plenty of room for social distancing and outdoor activities. My end of March trip was timely as Death Valley endures cold winters and scorching summers. It’s best to visit between November and April.

Getting Ther I ew to Las Vegas, rented a car, and drove about two hours to Furnace Creek, the park hub with a visitor center and park

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ranger station. Once you pass Pahrump, Nevada (yes, that is a n a c t u a l c i t y ) , t h e ro c k formations start appearing among the desolate wilderness.

in the distance. As I walked up to the overlook, the wind picked up. No trees grow in Death Valley to buffer the stiff breezes.

Lodging choices are limited. Many families use multiple RV parks and campsites, but that’s not my style. Hotel choices are either the Inn at Death Valley, once the exclusive escape for Hollywood elites, or the 224room Ranch. The Ranch provides a resort atmosphere with green lawns, a spring-fed swimming pool, playground area, tennis, golf course, riding stables, and bike rentals. Expect high prices in the middle of nowhere, but not as dear as the Inn, where room rates start around $500 per night

I drove on to Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, 282- feet below sea level. Salt crystals form on this 200-square mile stretch of land. The polygon patterns beguile and change with weather conditions. If you are lucky enough to experience rain, the basin becomes particularly photogenic.

Zabriskie Point and Badwater Basi The following day, I drove to Zabriskie Point for sunrise. No surprise, the easily accessible a re a n e a r F u r n a c e C re e k remains the most popular. Variegated mounds called badlands overlap one another while others display deep erosion patterns. They all unite, forming a mysterious grand vista with snow-capped peaks

I walked out, nearly a mile, to where the white crystals cover the salt oor entirely. This 360degree view mesmerized me, like spiderwebs stretching to in nity. While Badwater draws crowds and remains one of the most visited places in the park, a little walking provides a view all to yourself. Make the long walk, but be careful of the uneven surface and carry water. Returning back toward my hotel, I passed the Artist’s Palette loop entrance in the Black Mountains on the eastern side of Death Valley. The colorful, majestic peaks look


like a painter dabbed a brush across the surface. Another afternoon I saw sunshine dance upon the vivid terrain. The ninemile loop incorporates two parking stops and hiking paths

Dante’s View and Mesquite Sand Dune To photograph a sunset, I made a long, switch-back drive to Dante’s View, the highest point in the park. Visitors peer a mile down to the fringes of mysticallooking Badwater Basin. The humbling mountains surround the summit and become a dramatic backdrop at twilight. I was hoping for a glorious sunset, but Mother Nature didn’t cooperate. However, I felt her ominous power of darkness on the 45-minute drive back. Another early morning, I v e n t u re d 2 0 m i l e s t o t h e Mesquite Sand Dunes. Here, a w a v e - l i k e s t re t c h o f s a n d formations ripples against more surreal mountain ranges. Walking proves dif cult in the soft dunes, but the place begs for exploration. Look for windblown striations, strange freeform patterns, and small mesquite trees. Watch out if the sand starts to blow; the scene is breathtaking but stings!

Borax Work The Harmony Borax ruins, an outdoor museum, brought an explanation to the 20-mule team advertisements. The mineral, a compound known as sodium borate, was used as a laundry brightener. The mine operated from 1883 to 1889, but hauling it became too costly and the work

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conditions unbearable. I walked around an old cart and water tank that the mules pulled 165 miles to Mojave. I also drove the Twenty-Mule Team Canyon. This deserted trail felt like a real Indiana Jones adventure. The road twisted through narrow canyons and multi-colored Badlands, the site of the rst borax plant I planned to see Ubehebe Crater, another highlight, but it rests 60 miles from Furnace Creek. Be mindful of your gas tank; the only park fuel station sells petrol at excessively in ated prices. If I have anything negative to say about Death Valley, it would be that the park’s sites of interest stretch so far apart, but I loved the otherworldly landscapes. I found it rugged and fascinating, but some areas felt eerie, lonely, and abandoned. Vi s i t o r s n e e d t o s p e n d a minimum of two days to appreciate the curious wonders of this sunny desert Photos from top: The multicolored mounds on the Artist's Palette loop; Mesquite bush and sand dunes; Harmony Borax Works ruins; 20 Mule Team cart at Harmony Borax Works


Enjoying Dog Days in Palm Springs

By Catie and Bella* Guest Correspon-dogs

Palm Springs is a well-known doggie haven. Many hotels, restaurants, and shops happily welcome— and even indulge — our four-legged friends. So when we recently had an opportunity to explore Palm Springs with our dogs, we were excited. Bella (Linda Milks’ feisty white Maltese/Lhasa Apso) and Catie (Sue and Todd Montgomery’s friendly black Cocker Spaniel) were equally enthusiastic. While they are both “senior” dogs, they still love to travel — mainly because they love all the snacks along the way. CATIE:  I love traveling with my Mom and Dad. I was so worried when I saw them put their suitcases in the car. I thought they were going to leave me behind, but “bow wowsy”—  they put me in the car and I got to go too.  I was even more excited when my doggy pal, Bella, hopped in the backseat BELLA:  I usually get left at home when Mom goes on a trip, but it didn’t happen this time. I was so happy to see you, Catie. I heard we were going to some wonderful small hotels in Palm Springs, and when we pulled up to Talavera, I knew this was going to be great. When we opened the door, there was my very own guest dog bed and some tasty treats. The bathroom was huge so that’s where my Mom put the special dog bowls they set out for me. I could look out the door to the hot tub in the back area that was all enclosed with a bamboo fence, making it my own private playground This hotel is small and the rooms are all very private. There was only one other room next to the pool. They left their door open, so, of course, I went exploring to see just who they were. I guess they like dogs because they wanted to pet me. (I do like attention! CATIE:  I was thrilled that our hotel,  Avanti Palm Springs, was so welcoming to me. There was even a sign at the front door  with my name on it. The setting was quiet and nicely landscaped with a lovely pool and hot tub. My Dad walked me all over and I felt right at home. Our room was stylish (yes, I may be a dog, but I still like

Photos, this page, from top: Linda, Bella & Catie; Bella at Talavera; Catie's welcome sign at Avanti; Photos opposite from left: Pool at Avanti; La Serena Villas; Cioppino at Jake’s; Jake’s at night; Margarita tasting at Tac/ Quila; Salmon at Copley’s

*Translated from Dog-speak by Linda Milks and Sue Montgomery

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style) and comfort. We even had a kitchen where Dad could concoct snacks for me BELLA: Now let’s talk about the yummy food we ate in Palm Springs CATIE: Yep, we went to so many great restaurants and sat on their outside patios. Everywhere we went there were water bowls and lots of snacks.  Our rst lunch was at  Azucar, a welcoming place with inventive cuisine (as my Mom, the food writer, would say). This restaurant is located at La Serena Villas, a luxurious boutique hotel. Mom and Dad and Linda had drinks and delicious appetizers and sword sh tacos. (I know they were delicious because I got some too. BELLA:  Catie, did you know that the rst night’s restaurant,  Jake’s, was named after the owners’ dog? Do you think we will ever get a restaurant named after us? Bruce and Chris, the owners, were so nice to us, and I loved meeting their new dog, Jackson. But more than that, I loved the bites we got from that giant meatball your Dad ordered. The shrimp that our Moms gave us was pretty tasty, too. I didn’t think my mom could nish that big bowl of Cioppino, but she did. Maybe it’s because we helped her CATIE:  Bella, have you ever eaten at a ve-star restaurant?  Well, Copley’s was a rst for me. And we were both treated like the princesses we are. The setting was magical, and I loved sampling some of our humans’ fabulous fare, such as Dad’s Mizo Glazed Scottish Salmon and Linda’s Slow Roasted Duck Breast. I was especially impressed to learn that this chic, historic site was Cary Grant’s guesthouse during the 1940s. (I know about Cary

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Grant because I always love watching him with Audrey Hepburn in “Charade.” BELLA: Catie, we sure had a great lunch the second day (and that means lots of treats off our p a r e n t s ’ p l a t e s ) . We tried  Tac/Quila, home to modern Jaliscostyle cuisine and, according to our parents, the best margarita ight ever. Catie, didn’t you just love the bites of beef you got from the fajitas? The pork from Mom’s al Pastor made me beg for more CATIE: The last morning in Palm Springs, remember that breakfast at  Sherman’s, a very famous New York-style deli and noshing spot for dogs and humans alike? While the humans had scrumptious egg dishes (like my Mom’s lox and scrambled eggs), we had special snacks and bowls of fresh water. And then Mom and Dad ordered


yummy pastrami sandwiches to take home. (Hey, I love pastrami too.

humans. We met the founders, Jimmy McGill and Steve Piacenza, and they loved us

BELLA: We also got to go to some very fun pet stores. I loved Bones & Scones because they gave us treats and Mom bought me more treats (like pumpkin and peanut butter biscuits) to take home.  This store specializes in making healthy and organic dog food, which is very important for us senior pups so we can stay at the top of our games.

CATIE: Well, who wouldn’t love us?  We are so cute and, Bella, you only nipped at the owners’ feet once

CATIE: My Dad bought me a bright pink halter at  Posh Pet Care. This was another special pet shop with lots of toys and dog out ts. (I am a bit voluptuous, but they even had sweaters that t me just ne. The owners of Boozehounds giving Catie a tour of their new expansion which will include a play area for dogs BELLA:  Catie, I think we should tell them about Boozehounds.  This bar and restaurant will open soon in Palm Springs, and it will be a wonderful destination where dogs can take their

BELLA: Wow! That mixologist, Justin Gordon, sure seemed to make our parents happy. Those drinks were so colorful, and they “oohed” and “aahed” about them. Maybe we can come back again when they have the play area set up for dogs while our parents have cocktails

Final note from dog parents: Our doggies were treated very well on this trip, although they were exhausted when we got home after all their antics in Palm Springs. We had so much fun with them, and we de nitely encourage other dog lovers to take their pups to this amazing dog-friendly destination. And make sure you stay in a Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotel (PSPSH), as we did. Many of these charming hotels welcome dogs

Photos, top from left: Fajitas at Tac/Quila; Copley's at night; Interior, Posh Pet Care; Bottom from left: Jimmy & Steve show Catie Boozehounds; Vaccine cocktail being “injected” at Jake’s; Lox & scrambled eggs at Sherman’s; Sword sh tacos at Azucar

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Where am I Going Next? Taiwan! By Michael Cullen

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aiwan’s vibrant cultural and spiritual heritage, its fantastic food, world-class hot springs, and stunning scenery are all reasons why this East Asian island needs to make it on a travellers bucket list. Or so says celebrated travel guide author Joshua Samuel Brown. Having consumed his and others writing on Taiwan as a destination, it now tops my post-Covid travel list. A 3.5-hour ight from my home in Thailand, it’s easy to get to. A d d i t i o n a l l y, Ta i w a n h a s emerged as a success story in the global battle against COVID-19, so I feel it’s a safe destination for my next international travel

Photos, clockwise from top: East coast sunrise @ Sanxiantai © Taiwan Tourism; Daylily Flowers @ Sixty Rocks Mountain © Taiwan Tourism Bureau; Taiwans Paci c Coast_a bicycling & sur ng paradise© Taiwan Tourism Bureau

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Taiwan Snapsho Sitting atop the Tropic of Cancer in the West Paci c, Taiwan is north of the Philippines and about 100 miles (180 km) off China’s south-eastern coast. Narrow from east to west and long north to south, it has a total land area of about 14,400 square miles (36,000 sq km). Research suggests Taiwanese Austronesians have lived on the island for approximately 5,500 years though evidence of human habitation dates back tens of thousands of years. During their occupation in the early to mid-17th century, the Dutch called it ‘Ilha Formosa’ or the beautiful island. Han Chinese immigration followed

in the late 17th century, and they held sway until Japan took control from 1895 until the second world war. Though still claimed by communist China, 21st century Taiwan is seen as a vibrant democracy and one of four “Asian Tigers” in its modernisation and economic development. With a long summer and a short, mild winter, the island’s northern and central regions are subtropical, the southern part is tropical, and its mountainous regions are temperate. Almost two-thirds of the island is covered with alpine woodlands, while the remainder consists of


hills, highland plateaus, coastal plains, and basins. What has captured my imagination? Here are just a few reasons Taiwan is top of my post-Covid travel list

The Mountain Visually stunning, it’s said to be a photographer’s paradise. With over 200 of its peaks higher than 10,000 feet (3,000 meters), the Central Mountain Range is Taiwan’s spine. The rivers and gorges, as well as presenting dramatic scenery, provide an abundance of trekking opportunities. Taiwans highest peak—Yushan or Jade Mountain © Taiwan Tourism Bureau Mountaineers come to scale East Asia’s tallest peak, Yushan or Jade Mountain, approaching 13,000 feet (4,000 meters), an ideal spot to capture shots of the ‘sea of clouds’ sweeping over the mountains at dawn.

A Kaleidoscope of Colou In the springtime, elds of colourful Taiwanese lilies sway in the breeze on Taiwan’s North Coast, and pink alpine azaleas adorn its mountain slopes. In the tiered ranges of Alishan, the white and red petals of the Cherry Blossom gently oat onto tracks of the World Heritage-listed Alishan

Forest Railway. Splendid rays of evening sunset © Taiwan Tourism Bureau

In summer, brilliant Orange Daylilies bask under the warm sun on Liushidan Mountain. On the east (Paci c) coast, the crystal blue waters beckon while golden beaches offer some of East Asia’s nest sur ng and windsur ng spots. Skies ll with hot air balloons for the month-long annual international ballooning festival. Autumn sees the Daylilies of Hualien and Taitung counties bursting into bloom and creating a tapestry of brilliant yellows. Taitung’s vivid green and golden rice elds add their own natural beauty.

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Sea of Clouds at Mt. Hehuan © Taiwan Tourism Bureau

Taipei and 101 building at night © Taiwan Tourism Bureau

Taiwanese Cuisin Drawing much of its culinary heritage from China, it would be a generalisation to label Taiwan’s cuisine as ‘Chinese food’. The rst Han settlers cooking styles met the ingredients and culinary traditions of Taiwan’s aboriginal peoples, evolving into something different. This unique cuisine was further modi ed by recent immigrants from other areas of China and later by the Japanese. Taiwanese cuisine now incorporates all that plus international in uences. On the gourmet end, 226 restaurants are listed in the 2020 Taiwan Michelin Guide. Bustling night markets and roadside stands abound and are must-visits for regional street food, atmosphere, and cultural interactions. Don’t forget the internationally recognised and highly sought oolong tea and ‘best in Asia’ arabica coffee from the highlands. Oh, and Taiwan’s famous bubble tea that has been exported worldwide. As a foodie, I want to experience it all

Hot Spring Taiwan’s location on the infamous Rim of Fire that surrounds the Paci c Ocean has one signi cant upside. No matter where you venture on the island, you are sure to encounter refreshing and therapeutic natural hot springs and purpose-built spas. All of this would be new to me and something I would cherish experiencing

And Mor I’ve not mentioned the modern bustling cities, the vibrant indigenous or colourful national festivals, the highly-rated museums, the temples or the art scene. They, too, are on my list. I think I’ll need a lot of time to take in Taiwan’s offerings, though that’s the incredible opportunity traveling again presents.

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Taste something completely new.

Hear the gentle lapping of the Gulf waves nearby as you dine al fresco. Taste a local favorite as you bite into fresh-caught grouper. Raise a toast with a glass of wine as the sun warms your shoulders. Discover the unbeatable open-air dining scene in St. Pete/Clearwater. VisitStPeteClearwater.com

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Dreaming of Bordeaux By Cori Solomon

Bordeaux_Place de la Bourse ©Alexander Demyanenko - stock.adobe.com

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ike many, I ponder my ultimate travel destination once the pandemic subsides and we are free to travel the world again. My dream trip has been on my bucket list for many years.  With a focus on wine writing, I chose a place that signi es my love of wine and, at the same time, enhances my knowledge of wine-growing regions. I nd I learn the most when visiting. My choice also came to fruition through networking with people I met whose stories or connections tie to my desired location. That place is Bordeaux and SaintÉmilion, France I want to discover the Châteaux that make up the Left and Right Bank. While learning the history and culture of the area, I will nd out the traditions of winemaking that pass from each generation. Like many of the wineries in Bordeaux, I also see the innovations and modern concepts the younger generations bring into the mix

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The Left and Right Ban In Bordeaux, the left and right bank de ne Bordeaux's two most famous wine regions. An estuary of two rivers separates the two banks. The Gironde Estuary divides the Dordogne and Garonne rivers. The area north and right of the Gironde constitutes the Right Bank. The area south and left represents the Left Bank. Both areas create blends typically utilizing ve well-known Bordeaux grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. The Right Bank utilizes Cabernet Sauvignon as the dominant variety, and the Left Bank uses Merlot predominantly The Right Bank is known for the appellations of Pomerol and St-Émilion, and its four ‘satellite’ appellations, Montagne-, Lussac-, Puisseguin- and St-Georges St-Emilion. The area also encompasses Côtes de Blaye, Côtes de Bourg, Fronsac, CanonFronsac, Lalande de Pomerol, Francs Côtes de Bordeaux and Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux


Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. One person in particular motivated my desire to visit Bordeaux and Saint-Émilion. I was inspired by Paul Goldschmidt, whose wife's family owned Château Siaurac, producing wine since 1832. Sitting next to Paul during the tasting, he told me a tale that speaks of family, ingenuity, and creativity While on a tasting trip back east, Paul took a train to Baltimore for a wine tasting event. The train broke down, delaying the trip for about ve hours. Thinking outside the box and knowing he would miss the tasting, Paul decided to have a private tasting with the train passengers. Those who have experienced delays on both trains and planes can only imagine the fun these passengers had tasting wines from Bordeaux off the cuff

The Bells Toll in Saint-Emilio Steeple Harvest Plots © Paul Goldschmidt

The Left Bank de nes the Medoc region with its appellations of St-Estèphe, Pauillac, St-Julien and Margaux as well as Haut-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc and Moulis-en-Médoc. The Left Bank also includes Pessac-Léognan and the white wine region of Graves, plus Sauternes and Barsac sweet wines

A Bordeaux Tasting Adventur

My desire to visit Saint-Émilion peeked when I met with Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal of Château Angelus. The story behind this winery made me want to visit immediately. They say the bells toll three times a day; morning, midday, and night, symbolizing the beginning and end of the workday, and call people to pray in what is known as the Angelus prayer. The tale goes on to say that the chimes from the neighboring church could be heard in the vineyards. This bell symbolizes Château Angélus, a winery dating back to 1544 and now in its eighth generation. I

My story begins several years ago when I met French winemakers during a wine luncheon at the

Photos, left-right: St Emilion ©Heurisko; Baronne Guichard Wines

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want to listen to those bells that beckon people to pray and see the church from which they chime These stories and the people I have encountered during local tastings arouse my enthusiasm to visit Bordeaux and Saint-Émilion. These stories tell of the place, as do their wines. They say wine is about the place where grapes grow and the legacies passed down to each generation, which becomes part of the story

Art and Architectur Finally, I have always wanted to visit the Cité du Vin. It is not just the wine exhibits that instigate my interest but the museum's architecture. I have always been an architecture buff since studying art history in college. I have a connection to Frank Geary's architecture, whose sensibilities are similar to those of Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières, who designed the Cité du Vin. That association comes from working in real estate and selling properties to several architects who worked under Frank Geary. The bond also comes from taking art classes with his son Alejandro Living near Santa Monica, I often pass by Frank Geary's original home. The home's unique design, a classic example of the deconstructionist movement he led in the 1980s, does not represent a typical building by Frank Geary. Frank Geary took a Dutch colonial-style home and

Photos, left-right: Frank Geary Home Santa Monica; Les quais de Bordeaux (The quays of Bordeaux) ©Alexander Demyanenko - stock.adobe.com

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Interior of Carillon d'Angelus@Studio Deepix

incorporated the materials he loves to utilize in his monumental architectural buildings, whether it is the Disney Music Hall in Downtown Los Angeles or the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain

A Dream Come Tru Walking the streets or strolling along the riverfronts of Bordeaux and Saint-Emilion, or taking an excursion to visit Pomerol or Medoc opens the door to a new adventure. I hope this experience avails itself very soon.


Delaware’s Hidden Seashore by Andrew Der

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t the beach without a cloud in the sky and hot, exploration of Delaware's Atlantic coast had to wait while I cautiously sipped 300 year-old shipwreck rum from a Spanish Galleon in Florida’s waters While my gums tingled, the gracious owner of a modest maritime and artifact "museum" over an unassuming gift shop on Fenwick Island elaborated on the rum’s origins. The Discoversea Shipwreck Museum, my favorite regional “hidden” activity, is easy to miss. But moving past the lower level of souvenir paraphernalia will reveal a staircase to real found treasures of gold, colonial coins, jewelry, tales of Blackbeard, and

artifacts of the pre-Titanic cruise ship R.M.S Republic Unique artifacts include the once molten " ngers of gold" poured on wet Delaware beach sand by local buccaneers of the 18th century. One can visualize the owner hurriedly melting the valuable metal by a re while looking over his shoulder. The wet sand at the waters edge provided the rm nger-drawn depressions needed to quickly cool the gleaming liquid before smuggling it shipboard (see sidebar)

Parks, Beaches, and Histor Summer is the popular season for the Atlantic beaches of the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia

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Photos, clockwise: Sunset Over Rehoboth Bay from Dewey Pier, Dewey Waterfront and Lighthouse from Pier; Lewes Waterfront


(Delmarva) peninsula—and our President of the United States' back yard—beckoning those in the Mid-Atlantic with a plethora of enriching pleasures for every taste, from families and retirees to hardened party goers But if customary beach activities get just a bit old, go nd hidden coastal Delaware. Better yet, for bargain prices and no crowds, enjoy the eclectic year-round community atmosphere from September through April—and is the best time for lm, crafts, and arts festivals. My favorite is the independent lm shorts festival every November. And the ocean is still warm (for this area) in the fall Popular choices include outstanding and creative parks. My favorite is Cape Henlopen State Park just north of Rehoboth. Try the numerous nature appreciation walks and do not miss the massive and famous spring horseshoe crab spawning event north of Lewes along the Delaware Bay near Dupont Nature Center. Cape Henlopen Park is also home to the once active Fort Miles for a bit of WWII history—and offers the best trip back in time to experience a completely intact and preserved military installation with massive big-bore cannons to protect against potential Nazi invasions (a real possibility then from German UBoat sightings) Find secluded stretches of beach, nature trails and WWII sentry towers at Gordon Pond at the southern portion of the state park. These ghost towers sprinkled along the beaches still hauntingly watch over the coast. Delaware Seashore State Park to the south has an enriching wetland and estuarine inland bay, and a

Photos, top: Delaware Beach Dunes; Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk Photos, bottom clockwise: Best Margaritas Ever at Agave, Lewes; One of Few 1800s U.S. Lifesaving Service Stations Left ; Colonial Zwaanendael Dutch Museum, Lewes fi

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Colonial history buffs will enjoy walking through my favorite small town of Lewes (pronounced Loo-iss) for a comfortable self-guided tour of maritime history and old homes. Pick up a map of the history trail at the Lewes Visitor’s Center and nish the day watching the Lewes/Cape May, New Jersey ferry load and unload. Lewes is also one of the rst Dutch settlements in the New World prior to the English, so learn all about it at the Zwaanendael Museum of Dutch artifacts and history Don’t forget the Lewes Historical Society Maritime Museum, or Cannon Ball House, with the 1812 cannonball in the wall. If lighthouses are your thing, then sign up for the Delaware River Bay and Lighthouse Foundation sunset cruise (June, July, and September) to enjoy the Breakwater and Harbor of Refuge lighthouses. Finish up with a selfguided tour of one of the last remaining Lightboats (a oating lighthouse) at Lewes' waterfront

Social Scene and Dinin For relaxing adult time, try a wine tasting at Delaware’s Nassau Valley Vineyards, founded by a visionary jazz singer after being told it would never succeed. For the equivalent beer experience, visit the Dog sh Head Brewery and restaurant alternating with the current show at Rehoboth’s Clear Space

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great place to learn about Diamondback Terrapins, crabbing, and surf shing. The park is also home to the Indian River Life Saving Station built in 1876— now a museum and one of the last U. S. Lifesaving Stations in the country, and precursor to the U. S. Coast Guard

Theatre featuring concerts and Las Vegas style productions. Check out the surprising amount of art galleries and exhibits along with ongoing crafts, antique and gift shops—Delaware does not have sales tax For the energetic, try the famous evening social establishments of Dewey Beach with special events, unique cocktails, and Bloody Mary brunch’s—more so in the summer when considered somewhat of a "regional Cancun” for many denizens of the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan areas. Warning—stamina required Visitors may be surprised to learn of the area’s other industry—dining. Southern Delaware, billed as the Culinary Coast, offers a multitude of award-winning places to eat and socialize, with many open all year. Highlights include the Mid-Atlantic Wine and Food Festival, along with Eating Rehoboth and Eating Lewes tours. Look for restaurants participating in the “Local on the Menu” initiative pairing local producers with eateries As with many seasonal destinations, some popular eateries can be touristoriented, and while not necessarily a disappointment, one can do better if going where locals go especially off season. Popular themes also include wine and brewery tastings as well as happy hour and winter specials best explored on foot or bicycle Do not miss the best free evening activity in the summer—an outdoor concert at the Rehoboth Beach gazebo on the boardwalk


Treasure hunting on the Delaware coast For Mel Fisher of numerous National Geographic Magazine issues in the 1970s, keeping the $450,000,000 fruits of his team's labor—even at the expense of some lost lives—proved as difficult as his finding the 1600’s era wreck of the Spanish Galleon Atocha in Florida waters. His famous treasure hunting team eventually prevailed in 1985 after years of litigation in the U. S. Supreme Court. Government agencies conveniently started paying attention and laying claim to their finds only when the treasure was actually found. But Dale Clifton, then one of Fisher's team, and now the proprietor of the Dicoversea Shipwreck Museum in Fenwick Island, donated most of his share to museums and even reunited some of it with Spain. He was a modest kid-next-door with a fascination in history and pirate gold. Growing up near Delaware’s Atlantic beaches, he honed his skill by actually finding coins and jewelry washed up on shore—and you can too. My favorite tale of his first treasure find was not unlike an abbreviated version of the movie American Treasure. After stumbling across a very old book in a Williamsburg, Virginia, antique store as a teenager, Dale noticed an inserted hand-drawn map of a Delaware beach. What are the odds? He also observed a code of strategically placed pin holes over the text letters revealing the book pages to be a means to convey the map creator’s homebrewed “code”. The letters with a pin hole over them actually spelled out directions for finding a chest of valuables hidden for future family investment. After accounting for changes in beach topography, lighthouses, and landmarks, Dale found one of the original book owner’s chests. This is a favorite museum display today with five more chests remaining to be found—some day. Contrary to exotic Caribbean stereotypes, the Delaware seashore still provides one of the highest concentrations of washed up artifacts in the entire Eastern seaboard due to the unique combination of close proximity international shipping access via the Delaware Bay and the improved preservation qualities of colder silty water. If lucky enough to stop by when he is there, ask him how to get to “Coin Beach” nearby to try your luck—or Google it.

Make it happen Photos opposite, top-bottom: Annual Horsehoe Crab Spawning, Rehoboth Bay; Ghosts of WWII Observation Towers, Beach Near Gordon's Pond; One of Last Lightships Left in USA, Lewes Photos this page, top-bottom clockwise: Organizing Local Beach Treasure Finds at Dicoversea Shipwreck Museum, Fenwick Island; Molten Fingers of Gold Poured 1700s into Wet Beach Sand Depressions, Dicoversea Shipwreck Museum, Fenwick Island; 1900 Sunken Cruise Ship Artifacts, Dicoversea Shipwreck Museum, Fenwick Island

For the best one-stop-shop for all things coastal Delaware, go to http:// www.visitsoutherndelaware.com If going more than a couple of days, condo and beach house rentals are popular. For shorter stays, check out the many older, as well as new, “mom and pop” hotels which outnumber chains in Rehoboth Beach itself.

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River view from Mil Reis

If Found, Please Return to Milfontes, Portugal

By Elizabeth Orient

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hether by car, train, or airplane, I have been traveling my entire life. Amidst the madness, it’s too easy to lose sight of the purpose of your journey. Every once in a while, there is a place that grounds you as you fall irrevocably in love with its people, domain, and culture; a place that is full of magic and lights a re within you; a place that reminds you of your purpose. For me, that place is Vila Nova de Milfontes, Portugal

What to Ea Milfontes is a quaint, seaside village located about two hours south of Lisbon. After traveling by car or bus, you will more than likely be hungry upon arrival. This is where I say that you cannot, under any circumstances, leave without eating a chocolate croissant at  Mabi. I

have had many a croissant in different countries (including France); none of them compare. I am still amazed that a tiny Portuguese village serves the best pastries in all of Europe. If you are in need of a more substantial meal, pack a few sweets for t h e r o a d a n d w a l k o v e r t o 1 8 e Piques for handcrafted sandwiches and salads that are made with locally sourced ingredients. Their honey, walnut, and goat cheese atbread is divine Be prepared to eat well, eat often, and take your time while doing so. After a long day, there is nothing better than having lunch at  Porto das Barcas and dinner at Tasca do Celso. Spend a few hours at Porto das Barcas with friends to enjoy family-style food and wine. Rumor has it that the restaurant  serves the best chocolate mousse (I have yet to con rm this theory). Tasca do Celso is the king of traditional seafood cuisine. I am known to be a picky eater and even I couldn’t s t a y a w a y f ro m their superbly fresh seafood

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Where to Sta There is a wide variety of lodging options in Milfontes. Personally, I love staying at Mil Reis. The guesthouse is located in the village center, they serve and breakfast daily. Each room is unique, peaceful, and private. For those looking for a more upscale experience, I recommend booking a room or suite at Tres Marias

What to D As much as Milfontes is a ghost town during the tourism off-season, locals are quite active and spend most of their time outdoors. Sur ng, kayaking, shing, and hiking are popular activities. Horseback riding is available yearround, especially in the parish of Cercal. Riding through the rolling hills of the pastoral countryside was an unforgettable experience. Meike’s Horsetrails recently relocated to Milfontes; now, you can ride along the coast and on the beach

Parting Thought I instantly fell in love with everything about Milfontes when I rst visited. I have a permanent, sentimental attachment to its magic. It’s where I realized that the only place you have to be right now is “in the moment.” It’s where I met several lifelong friends who ercely motivate me to chase my dreams. It’s where I realized that life is too short to not pursue your passions. Milfontes is whimsically special. I can’t wait to return! Photos from top left: Sunset on the beach in Milfontes; The streets of Milfontes; Castle in Milfontes; Horseback riding in Cercal; Dusk on the beach in Milfontes fi

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By Jeanine Consoli

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e are a foodie family. I started encouraging my daughters to join me in the kitchen when they were ve. In high school, they often baked on the weekends crafting cookies or cupcakes for fun; I had a stocked pantry just for those occasions. Cooking is a hobby. I read recipes like others read New York Times best-selling novels. I linger over the techniques, buy the best ingredients, and shower my family with culinary love. I guess it’s the Italian in me. I enjoy having conversations over delicious meals.

The Pandemic Paus When we locked down in March of 2020, my travel and food writing opportunities came to a halt. My Instagram feed, once full of indulgences from my travels, now re ected creations from my kitchen. I joined the throngs of newbies who began to make sourdough from scratch, swelling with pride when my “babies” came out of the oven. My husband was thrilled and slathered butter on the hot slices of crusty goodness. But I write about food, too. I seek out restaurant gems and describe the cuisine in detail for travelers to discover. Dining out is a favorite activity for my family and is taken just as seriously. The decision of where to eat and what to order is a ritual. Menus are often previewed in advance, and usually, deals are made, "If you get this dish, I'll get that so we can split." The other person agrees, and a happy compromise is reached. Many memories occurred in restaurants around fabulous meals, and we often reminisce about those experiences. When the pandemic forced lockdowns, the shutdowns caused permanent closures to many food businesses, including one of our cherished places. We cried when we heard. Where am I going next? I am going to a restaurant

Spring Brings Re-opening

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My 23-year-old twins graduated from college and moved to Washington D.C. in August. I planned to visit for March, when some dining orders were lifted. During our weekly phone call, they mentioned that Belga Café was only blocks from their apartment. Belga Café is award-winning Chef Bart Vandaele’s 44

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Feeding One’s Soul As Restrictions Ease


restaurant. Bart appeared on season 10 of BRAVO’S "Top Chef" and is known as the 'Belgian guy' who put Belgian food on the map in D.C. Our call went something like this, "Mom, we have the perfect place for brunch. It's got these cute glass greenhouses outside where we can socially distance, and the food is Belgian!" “Ooh, that sounds interesting; let's pull up the menu." I purred. Our ritual was back on track Belgian Cuisine In Capitol Hil We didn’t secure a greenhouse, so we agreed to a table inside with an adorable crystal chandelier hanging above us and promptly celebrated our reunion with Belga Bellini’s. The champagne utes sparkled as the light glinted from the dangling crystals and bounced off our swanky cocktails of white cranberry juice, Crème de Pêche, pomegranate, and sparkling wine. Très chic We ordered cappuccinos and then plotted our meal. We agreed to try a Belgian specialty called Coddled Eggs in the Bokaal. A bokaal is the Dutch word for a jar layered with slow-poached eggs, butter-rich carrot-mashed potatoes, ribbons of uffy hollandaise, and chives served with a sliced baguette. Our next choice, crispy, fried chicken strips, set atop a puffy Belgian waf e, was unanimous. It arrived with a ramekin of jalapeño syrup and pickled jalapeño slices. And last, a spicy lamb and chorizo burger topped with goat cheese, spinach leaves, a yogurt-garlic sauce, and crisp Belgian fries. Sharing plates is our thing, and we got to it. The perfect bite? A chicken chunk on top of a waf e square dipped in the zippy syrup layered with pickled jalapeño. Or maybe it was the creamy eggs smeared onto the sliced baguette. No, it was the lamb burger, thick and juicy spiked with spice from the chorizo and garlicky yogurt with the fresh spinach for balance. But don't forget the crisp fries, tilted out of the cone onto a plate for easy access to the mayonnaise, the traditional Belgian condiment

Photos, opposite page from top: Consoli Family at Home; Belga Cafe Greenhouse Outside; Cappuccino at Belga Cafe; inside Belga Cafe's Greenhouse’s; Photos, this page from top: Coddled Eggs in Bokaal; Lamb Burger and Fries; Belga's Chicken and Waf es; Homemade Sourdough Bread;

Love And Foo We never stopped tasting. We took turns talking and sipping our cocktails as we shared our favorite pastime of connecting over food. Our ritual is vital to us, and we missed it. We missed each other, and we missed being in a restaurant. Especially all the avor that comes with a scrumptious meal expertly prepared in a chef's kitchen. Even though travel is slowly coming back, we will never forget that it stopped once, and we lost iconic places in its wake. We won't take it for granted again

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My Top Five Places to Go When I Can Travel Again By Debbra Dunning Brouillette

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Footprints Sand and Sea


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efore COVID-19 changed all of our travel plans in 2020, I had several trips in some stage of research or planning. My husband and I have now received our vaccinations, so I’ve dusted off my travel list and started dreaming. While many destinations outside the United States aren’t yet fully open to international visitors, I am already thinking about future travels.

While my list includes many more destinations, I’ve narrowed it down to these ve

A Tropical Island or Beach Locatio As a tropical travel enthusiast, I always long to return to blue ocean waters and sandy beaches. An escape to a beachy location, either Florida or a Caribbean island, where I can scuba dive, snorkel, do some shelling, eat fresh seafood, and soak in the bene ts of “Vitamin Sea” is at the top of my list. It will almost assuredly be my rst trip of 2021 A road trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida may win out as our rst trip, but the Caribbean is calling me, too. A week at an all-inclusive resort (Sandals or Club Med) or a small ship cruise (Windstar or Star Clippers) with several ports of call are other possibilities. You can dream along with me as an armchair traveler. Visit one or more of the Destination pages on my Tropical Travel Girl website

African Safar My husband and I had started researching African safari trips in 2020. It will be a big bucket list trip if and when we can accomplish it. I have always loved big cats, especially lions, so seeing them in the wild will be a dream come true. Decisions on which countries to visit and which s a f a r i companies to use to book this once-in-alifetime trip will continue to keep me i planning mode until it’s safe t go.

Photos, this page, clockwise from top: Navarre Beach Fishing Pier; Cove Bay Anguilla; Tahiti LeMeridien Overwater Huts; Lions ©Iurii Ivashchenko; Elephants ©Filip-Olsok Photos, opposite page from top: Alaska, Courtesy pexels-pixabay; France Cruises-Deborah Barge Loire ©France Cruises; Stonehenge ©John Nail

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Alaskan Cruis We were very close to booking an Alaska Inside Passage cruise, departing from Vancouver, Canada, in Summer 2019, but postponed it to Summer 2020. Even though I’m usually partial to visiting warm climates, I’m looking forward to an Alaska cruise for more than one reason. Reason #1 is that my father was stationed in Alaska during World War II. The scenery looks amazing, and I know there are many opportunities to view the wildlife. Not to mention, there will be plenty of Alaskan salmon (my favorite sh) to eat

French River Barge Cruis A barge cruise with France Cruises was tentatively on the agenda in the fall of 2019, then was delayed until spring or summer of 2020, and since we can’t yet freely travel to France, the waiting continues. I love French wines, so I hope to experience France’s itinerary on the Briare Canal between the Loire Valley and the Sancerre wine region.

Britain Self-drive (England, Wales, Scotland Three decades ago, I toured England, Wales, and Scotland by car, staying in bed-and-breakfasts along the way, eating in the pubs, and visiting sites throughout Britain that I’d spent weeks researching in advance. It is a trip I’ve longed to repeat with my husband, Stephen, and I hope we can do it. My ancestry, including my maiden name Dunning, my mother’s maiden name Collins, and other family names, are mainly English and Scottish, so being an Anglophile comes naturally

That’s just a part of my travel wish list. During this past year of limited travel (We did make a road trip to the Florida Panhandle last October.) has helped me realize that time is eeting, and there is no time like the present to go and do whatever we can t into the time we have. While we have a lot to see and experience within our own “backyards,” or at least within driving distance of our homes, the path unseen continues to beckon

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be Living My Dream By Christine Cutler

Pettorano sul Gizio, Abruzzo, Italy

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he last 14-15 months have been hard on all of us. Dealing with the severe limitations the pandemic unleashed on the world has been dif cult for everyone. We sat in our homes, barely going farther than our local grocery or pharmacy. Meetings and classes were virtual. Work was mostly remote. Hugs were non-existent.

The Promis As I write this, the world is starting to open up. Vaccines have helped us feel safer, and many of us are hoping we can make plans to travel the world again. Of course, not everyone feels that way, and that’s okay. "Don't get between the plane door and me when Italy opens up to Americans," I always reply when one of my friends asks me when I plan to go to Italy next. They all know I had some additional health problems last year, and knowing I would eventually get back to Italy kept me going during the months of treatments. Those treatments that saved my life also made me realize that there is going to be a time when I’m not able to do everything I want to do. Whether it is age or some physical problem, something may put the brakes on my ability to live the way I want When I was having treatments last year, my husband promised me that we would go to Italy when we could. I knew that he was not only talking about my health but also the pandemic. As the year dragged on and overseas travel remained closed, I could tell he was itching to go, too. Friends would ask the same, “When are you going to Italy next?” Instead of waiting for me to answer, he’d say, “As soon as we can.

The Situatio Since taking of ce in February, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi has pushed hard for vaccine reform in Europe and Italy. He is caught between Italy's warring political parties, one side which has wanted to lift restrictions and open the country for months and the other side which prefers to take a

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Photos from top: The rooftops of Pettorano sul Gizio; Looking east from Pettorano; The road leading to Piazza Zanelli


more cautious approach. In early May, Draghi opened Italy to tourism from other European countries, and as of May 16, he opened it to Americans who meet certain requirements. I have made reservations for us to y to Rome mid-June. The situation and regulations are changing constantly, so who knows what we are going to face before and after we leave. All I know is that we are going to Italy

The Drea In 2008, I started writing about my grandparents who were born in Abruzzo. Located about 90 kilometers east of Rome, Pettorano sul Gizio (photo on previous page) is a small hill town with about 1200 residents today. I’ve visited the town almost annually since 2010, but I have always stayed in Sulmona, the larger town about 10 minutes away. On my rst visit to the town, I found the house where my grandfather grew up. Still in the family, the house is more than 200 years old. At the time we discovered the house, my late cousin’s wife, Rosa, was still living in it, and she introduced me to other relatives who still live in town. Since Rosa’s passing, I’ve continued to go to the town, but I haven’t spent the time I want spend there. Usually, we drive in for an hour or so and then head somewhere else I have always wanted to spend time in the town…to sit in the small piazza near there and listen to the river water run from the old fountain…to watch the sun rise over one hill and depart over another…to wander aimlessly up and down the stairs that connect the narrow streets…to roam through the old streets…to experience life in the place my grandparents left behind but never forgot Mid-June will be the perfect time to ful ll that dream.

Photos from top: A street in Pettorano sul Gizio; Stairs leading from one street to another; My grandfather’s house; The Valle Margherita, looking west from Piazza Zanelli

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Photos clockwise from top: Acornhouse in Oranjezicht, Cape Town; Karibu Restaurant; Table Mountain Aerial Cableway in Cape Town; Bo-Kaap ’19; Victoria & Albert Waterfront; Malva pudding, Hussar Grill; Gold Restaurant small plates; West Coast Potjie at Ons Huisie, Bloubergstrand,

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By Elsa Dixon

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oom! Exactly at noon every day except Sunday, the Noonday Gun  res a shot from  Signal Hill  in Cape Town. There is a split-second silence before squawking birds ap their wings, startled visitors jerk up their heads, and Capetonians glance at their watches to check the time. I do miss hearing that sound. At my favorite place,  I will book Acornhoek House  in Oranjezicht, nestled just below Table Mountain. Below is the city, Table Bay, Bloubergstrand, and the road up the west coast. Also visible are the northern suburbs where, through the Winelands, the N2 takes one to Johannesburg. The blue mountains simmer in the distance. Turning left, Signal Hill and the Atlantic Seaboard beckons to the right, the Southern Suburbs. Turning around, one sees the cable cars silhouette against Table Mountain. The  Table Mountain Aerial Cableway  is only a short ten-minute drive up Kloofnek

Karibu Restaurant at the Victoria and Albert Waterfron Twelve-o’clock! Time for lunch, and where better to nd the ideal eatery than the Victoria and Albert Waterfront.  Karibu  is one of my favorite restaurants since it offers an extensive array of traditional South African dishes. I long to taste the ostrich carpaccio or Springbok Shank served with mashed potatoes, yellow peaches, garlic, and red wine. The wine list is an educational experience, including a Western Cape Wineland map and recommendations for wines to pair with meat and sh types

Authentic African Experience at the Gold Restauran I love visiting my friend Cindy Muller’s Gold Restaurant  near the Waterfront. After an exciting pre-dining African drumming session, her menu takes on a culinary journey through the continent. In between traditional African singing and dancing presentations, she serves small plates, each with a story.

The Colorful Culture of the Bo-Kaa A stone-throw away, also against Signal Hill, is the colorful Bo-Kaap, home to mainly the Cape Malay, descendants from the 17th-century slaves. South African dishes, such as bobotie, incorporates Malay spices. My mom regularly served this minced meat casserole with its custardy topping. 

Tea-time at the Mount Nelso I miss South Africa’s traditional tea-time, especially at the Cape’s grand old lady, the landmark Mount Nelson Hotel with its iconic pink buildings where I had my wedding reception incidentally. The  tea master  uses an egg-timer to allow each cup exactly the correct steeping time.

The Nostalgic Hussar Gril The Hussar Grill  tucked away in Rondebosch in the Southern Suburbs where I grew up is on my nostalgic list. Established in 1964, it has won many prestigious awards. Their  choice of starters  is legendary – Hussar  biltong, Traditional  Boerewors, marrow bones,  Hollandse Bitterballen,  Skilpadjie, and more. My favorite dessert is their sweet sponge Malva Pudding, a South African favorite

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Places Ar nd Table M ntain


Food with a View at Ons Huisi My car will nd its way to Bloubergstrand, Table Bay, for a stunning view of Table Mountain. I will stop at Ons Huisie  restaurant for its mouthwatering West Coast  Potjie. Calamari, prawns, line sh, and mussels, smothered with a creamy Thai curry sauce, ll the small three-legged pot with sides of rice, homemade chutney, and a crunchy poppadum

The Mariner’s Wharf in Hout Ba Heading along the Atlantic ocean towards Cape Point, I will turn off to the Mariner’s Wharf  in Hout Bay. I can’t wait to eat an alfresco sh and chips take-out from  The Wharfette Bistro while looking at the colorful shing boats docked in the harbor. I recall, as a child, catching sh in a bucket during a sardine run. The  Wharfside Grill Restaurant is also an excellent option for dining. Besides its great atmosphere, it presents an impressive menu and superb service

Grand Constance, a Touch of Clas For me, a wine-tasting at Groot Constantia, the oldest wineproducing farm in South Africa, is a must. This 1685 property boasts a historic manor house, two excellent restaurants, two cellars, and a retail shop. I enjoy the “Chocolate and Wine Pairing Experience.” To think that Napoleon Bonaparte favored the world-renowned “Grand Constance.

Acorn House, my Home from Hom Thinking of where I want to go, I realize that restaurants are synonymous with my favorite places around Table Mountain, and Acorn House is central to all: “From here, I can go up the mountain, down the mountain, through the mountain, and around the mountain.

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Photos clockwise from top left: View of Table Mountain from Bloubergstrand; Wharfside Grill, Hout Bay; Hout Bay Harbor; Groot Constantia Wine Estate


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Washing Away a Year’s Woes on a Water-Infused Getaway: Hungary, My Home By Diane Dobry Away from Home

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here’s no place like home, and for me, there is no place like my Hungarian second home to allow me to gather with friends in relaxing ways. After a year of isolation and a long stretch of not traveling, I would rst head straight for the center of Europe to be among those who share my heritage

TripAdvisor. Here the lake reportedly reaches a temperature of 40˚C (104˚F). I have had my eye on this lily pad dotted lake, where visitors soak languorously in the warm waters oating in big red rubber tubes. Private tours include transportation and hotel stays, initiating with pick-up from Budapest locations.

Tapolca Lake Cave

Thermal Baths by the Thousand Hungary has close to 1,300 natural sources of hot thermal waters running beneath the land and 220 thermal locations throughout the country. According to Thermal Hungary, it is the “country of the spa.” In addition to the more famous spas of Budapest, there are many more thermal locations I am longing to try — from thermal lakes to cave baths, resorts, and a new futuristic thermal park.

Not far from the lake at Héviz is the Lake Cave in Tapolca, an underground cave and waterway discovered over 100 years ago. Though it is not a thermal bath, with an underground boat experience, a small, attached museum, and a constant 68˚F air temperature, it is a good reprieve in the heat of summer. Considering boat rowing and navigation, though, it may be a tour best done with a friend

Debrecen Futuristic Thermal Par Thermal Lake of Héviz At the very northwestern tip of Lake Balaton, in the town of Keszthely (about a three-hour drive west of Budapest), is the “biggest biologically active natural medicinal water in the world,” according to

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Plans for a futuristic family water park in Debrecen, Hungary, began pre-COVID, and has now opened. Debrecen is the country’s second largest city, 150 miles east of Budapest. Though the diving pool and 30- and 50-meter swimming pools are not my rst choice, the


Take Me to the River Cruise One of the best tours I ever enjoyed pre-COVID was a Viking River Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. Before the lockdown, I was planning another cruise. Now that river cruises are opening up again, adding that to a Hungarian spa tour would keep the water theme going beyond the borders into other countries. Close to Budapest, a 12-day cruise begins in Prague and ends in Paris. There are stops in Germany, some of which—including Nuremberg, Würzberg and the Moselle wine region—I enjoyed on the Budapest-to-Amsterdam trip. This cruise adds Heidelberg, Mainz, and Bernkastel. It is perfect since I can’t get enough of the beauty of Germany. It stops in Trier, adds Luxembourg and Reims, and we nally disembark in Paris. The food, wine, and history blend is an ideal mix for me. A shorter, 8-day cruise, keenly focuses on food and wine; covers Avignon with palace tours; the Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards; or a half-day culinary tour featuring snacks, sweets, a cooking class, wine, and coffee, as well as dinner. Tours of lavender gardens and a distillery where lavender oil is extracted along with walking tours, Roman ruins, and Gothic cathedrals are treats between the food, wine, and shopping excursions, At the end, there’s an optional extension for three days in Paris reached by train from Lyon. Choices, choices. It will be nice to have such choices again.

arti cial waterfalls, medicinal waters, and slow-moving winding river feature is my idea of a relaxing combination. A hotel on the property with its own rooftop pools makes it an easy one-stop vacation I could easily enjoy with friends. This video is what sparked my desire to go

Cave Bath of Miskolc Tapolc Heading back toward Budapest, only 56 miles northwest of Debrecen, is the spa at Miskolc Tapolca,. Originally enclosed by a wooden building in 1743, the structures have been rebuilt and expanded until about 15 years ago. The idea of soaking in 30˚C (86˚F) waters underground evokes a sense of primitive pleasures of getting close to nature. I might even try out the salt water oat spa, a relaxing massage, or the tickling of my toes with a sh pedicure. There are several hotels nearby, including Avalon Resort & Spa, that offer luxury suites, and log houses that could also accommodate my friends and their families.

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Would Have Bought That 5-pound Bag of Pasta By Lisa Morales

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f you’re like me, you’ve probably had at least one, “if I could turn back time” moment since the beginning of the pandemic. Am I right? Mine is that I would have bought a ve-pound bag (or two) of pasta from The Italian Depot at Yellow Green Farmer’s Market in Hollywood, Florida. If only I had known

The Last Saturda It was Saturday, March 14th, 2020. Like most Saturdays, I’d wake up early; put on my running clothes; pack a cooler with lots of ice in the back of my SUV; and drive to Yellow Green to buy groceries before heading over to the beach for a long run. My rst stop would be at The Italian Depot to pick up olive oil, a can or two of San Marzano tomatoes, Tipo 00 our, and pasta

ve-pound bags of pasta on sale for $3.00 each. It’s a special too good to pass up. “Stock up on olive oil before I sell it all to a restaurant,” he told me. I replied, “I live day-by-day, thanks. See you next week! Little did I know that Yellow Green would close the following week because of the COVID lockdown. Fortunately, now one year later, it has nally reopened. I and at least 56,800 other people (based on their Instagram account) were heartbroken for more than 12 months This is my tribute to the reopening of Yellow Green Farmer’s Market. Although close to home, it was my rst destination before I even thought of another trip, and here’s where I stopped

The Italian Depo At checkout, the cashier knew to make me a cappuccino served in a paper cup with a lid so I could sip it while strolling through the market. Sometimes it was on the house or served with a couple of delicious Limoncello chocolates— yummy Usually, I’d chat with the owner, and he’d always try to sell me something else before I walked out. On this particular day, he had

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The Italian Depot sells only made-in-Italy products such as pasta, our, olive oil, canned


stands to choose from, but Francis is my favorite because they accept food stamps. I believe our country is a much better place, if everyone has access to affordable, healthy food

Mari’s Kitche

www.instagram.com/francisfreshproduce

I have yet to nd a better place in Broward County to buy prosciutto, speck, mozzarella, or Stracciatella, than Mari’s Kitchen. Led by Tony (from Italy) and Maria (from Venezuela), their booth and countertop eatery was a welcoming stop and always lled with hungry visitors. The family continues to take catering orders and sells certain products online www.mariskitchenmiami.com

Francis Fresh Produc Francis Fresh Produce is also a family run business. Their large booth is well stocked with fresh produce, eggs, pre-cut fruit such as pineapple and papaya and freshly made salsa, guacamole, and dip. There are a lot of produce

More Informatio Open only on the weekends, Yellow Green Farmer ’s Market is South Florida’s largest farmer’s market. Although, I’ve only mentioned three of my favorite small businesses, there are many other stands that I visit and some that I have yet to discover. Not only can you purchase things to take home, there are dozens of places to sit down and have lunch When they nally re-open, you’ll nd me buying at least one ve-pound bag of pasta, a case of olive oil, a few pounds of charcuterie meats, and cheese. Not just as a way to cure my “If I can turn back time” malady, but hopefully a small gesture to help support local when it’s needed most Yellow Green Farmers Marke 3080 Sheridan Stree Hollywood, FL 3302 www.ygfarmersmarket.com

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tomatoes, preserved specialties, sweets, some cheese and cured meats. The products are not artisanal, but good quality and inexpensive www.instagram.com/the_italian_depot


The Splendors of Northern Italy By Priscilla Willis

Cleto Chiarli in Modena

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I’m ecstatic at the prospect of traveling again. Where? Why Italy, of course

Splendors of North Italy Culinary Tou My rst and only trip to Italy (so far) was on a Splendors of North Italy culinary tour in 2017 with Chef Mark McDonald of Old Vine Restaurant and Bar in Orange County, California. Chef Mark’s partner in these extraordinary small group tours is Chef John Nocita, founder of the Italian Culinary Institute in Calabria. The two chefs led tours in Southern Italy for ten years and added Northern Italy in 2016. I traveled with a broken hand and a back brace following a truck accident two weeks prior and couldn’t have done it without my girlfriend June helping me haul my suitcase on and off many train platforms. Our food and wine adventure began in Lake Garda, which served as our base for day trips to Verona, Modena, the Alto Adige wine region, and Bolzano. Our home for four nights was the stylish Hotel Nazionale near the town center of Desenzano Del Garda. When we weren’t exploring Ve r o n a o r sipping wine in Modena or Alto Adige, we learned a b o u t authentic

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Italian cuisine through chef demonstrations and tastings that highlighted the simple, yet exquisite, Italian cuisine. We also tried our hand at making fresh pasta—it’s easier with two hands *wink.

Day Trip to Veron The unrelenting rain was the only thing that dampened our time in Verona. June and I strolled the glistening cobblestone streets to the Verona Arena and searched for Juliet’s balcony. Yes, the balcony made famous by Shakespeare’s sonnet and the Romeo & Juliet movies is one of the most popular attractions in Verona. The Verona Arena is a Roman amphitheater built in the rst century. Still in use today, it is internationally recognized for the large-scale opera performances given there. It is one of the best-preserved ancient structures of its kind. We reunited with the group to dine at one of Verona’s oldest restaurants, Antica Bottega del Vino, where the wine list was the size of the Gutenberg Bible. Purchased by The Amarone Family in 2011, Bottega del Vino’s history dates back to the 1500s when the tavern rst opened for business. During Vinitaly, the famous eatery is a social hub packed tight with wine producers, journalists, and trade.

Day Trip to Cleto Chiarli in Moden In Modena, we toured the

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vineyard and production facility of Cleto Chiarli, makers of premium Lambrusco and aged balsamic vinegar. The vineyard was a stunning sight, vines heavy with dusky Lambrusco grapes ready for harvest and leaves vibrant with fall colors. Cleto Chiarli’s retail and tasting building are just as you imagine an Italian villa, smooth terracotta-colored stucco with an arched loggia draped in a brilliant crimson vine, grounds lush with foliage, rustic pottery, and charming vignettes. Lunch was a leisurely affair savoring multiple courses and wine pairings. Our server was a happy gentleman whose smile I will never forget.

Wine Tasting at Erste & Neue in Trentino Alto Adig The breathtaking scenery of the Trentino-Alto Adige region lls my memories. Glimpses of small vineyards awash with sunlight. The panoramic view of Lake Kaltern with the Alps in the distance while we sipped a sparkling wine from Erste & Neue. Our guide

Photos clockwise from left: Wine tasting overlooking Lake Kaltern; Bolzano, Italy; Lasagna in Bologna; Tortellini el Brodo in Bologna; Pasta making in Bologna

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Daniel led us through the barrel room, its sloped walls painted with vibrant colors depicting the wine harvest, followed by a 13-bottle wine tasting. We spent the waning hours of the day in Bolzano, a quaint village set against a stunning Alps mountain backdrop where Alpine in uences merge with Italian culture.

Bologna—The Gastronomic Capital of Italy Then, it was off to the magical city of Bologna for two nights before returning home. Considered the gastronomic capital of Italy, the food in Bologna is as fabulous as the city itself. Must-eats are tortellini in brodo, mortadella, prosciutto, Parmigiano Reggiano, Ragú Bolognese, and lasagne, traditionally made with spinach noodles and creamy béchamel sauce. Our tiny accommodations were comical, but the delectable food and fascinating street life more than made up it.


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Hightailing it to Minneapolis to Meet my Two ‘New’ Aunts By Robin Dohrn-Simpson

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have found two new aunts of ours on Ancestry.com. There were three, but one passed away,” my sister Paige informed me in March 2020. Paige had started the 2020 lockdown of the pandemic taking over my father’s passion for family heritage. “I’m just sad Dad wasn’t here to see how advanced family history research has become since he slogged around libraries, the Ellis Island registry, military records, and talking with relatives” she said You see, growing up, my family had a different last name than my cousins, but in retrospect, I never really asked and my dad never talked much about his story except that his mother had died when he was 18. The sadness from this loss pervaded throughout his adult life. We knew Grandpa Amos, his step-father, but I never knew why he was a stepfather. And I don’t recall ever asking why As I got older, pieces of the story came out more and more. My father was born out of wedlock in 1927. His mother, Agnes, was 16 and unmarried. She lived in the small town of Trimont, Minnesota, and was as I’m sure all were in the early 1920s, very sheltered. Agnes had met a boy Bill, or “Bud” as he was called, from the big city of Minneapolis when he came to town to visit his aunt. She got pregnant and had no idea how it happened or that she was even pregnant. She told a friend that she’d just “felt wrong down there.

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Agnes wrote many letters to Bud over the course of her pregnancy, but he never replied. She was heartbroken. The family forced her to marry another boy to make her unborn child legitimate. On the same day she gave birth to


my father, Bud came to town looking for her. Sadly, he found out that she was married and decided to step away. My father never met his birth father. Turns out Bud’s mother had hidden all the letters and never showed them to him. When he eventually found out, he headed out to Trimont Bill Bailey, his biological father had married in Minneapolis and had three daughters with his wife. We recently found out that he’d an affair during his marriage and fathered another child Paige searched on Facebook for our new aunts and found them living in Minneapolis. After introducing herself and telling me about our newfound family, we were all introduced to each other. Throughout the past year due to the lockdown and pandemic, we have met on Zoom calls. I was surprised to nd out that one of our aunts is only two years older than my oldest sister and looks almost exactly like her. Only a few years ago, my

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aunts heard that their father had a child before he married their mother, but it was never spoken about in their presence. Thankfully, these two women were very open to hearing about it and meeting us. It’s been so wonderful learning about their father and the genetic similarities between him and his son. One thing that we also learned throughout this ancestry process is that not everyone out there wants to be found. When my sister Paige discovered a family member in our lineage none of us knew, she searched her out and the two of them found that she was the granddaughter of the child born as a result of Bud’s affair. When she asked her grandmother about this, grandma was not happy. Her advice was “Leave it alone and mind your own business. But that’s ok, to each their own. However, when travel resumes, guaranteed I’ll be on a plane to Minneapolis


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Making International Travel Easier By Christine Cutler

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’m heading to Italy in a few weeks, and I have been busy trying to navigate the regulations not only for getting into Italy but also for returning to the United States. While the rules for traveling internationally depend on where you are traveling, from where you are returning, and which airline you are ying, there is one sure thing: Before you return to the United States, you have to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of your return ight One of the roadblocks you can face is where to get that test in a foreign country. Your airline should have links on its websites, but we’ve found something that is even easier. Abbott Labs has developed a self-test and an app to make testing easier. Abbott partnered with United Airlines to help international travelers; the CDC’s new regulations allow you to test yourself abroad and use the veri ed negative test result to board an international ight to return to the US CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, praised the effort s a y i n g , “ We appreciate the private sector proactively h e l p i n g travelers have access to easy, r e l i a b l e COVID-19 test options. About the size of a day planner, the BinaxNOW Home Test will t into carry-on luggage, purses, or briefcases easily. Abbott suggests passengers pack more than one BinaxNOW test kit in case of error or inconclusive test results. You can nd a detailed description of the BinaxNOW hometesting process by visiting United’s Emed page

done through eMed, provides a proctor who will observe you taking t he sample and testing it before digitally providing veri ed test results My concern, and that of a few other writers I know is that we are not ying United to our international destinations. Finding out whether we could also use the BinaxNow Home Test to return to the US was not easy. Multiple airlines told us repeatedly to look at their websites to nd the answers. You can use our travel guide to nd out the accepted test type for your trip. Or, You can nd all the answers on our website. No, we could not. I nally contacted Darcy Ross, director of Abbott’s media relations. I stated that since the CDC had approved use of the test for international travel, I thought it would be eligible for travel on any airline. She checked and answered, “Anyone traveling internationally on another airline can order our BinaxNOW Home Test through eMed and use the results displayed in the NAVICA app to meet the CDC updated guidelines for returning to the US. The same afternoon, I received this answer from American Airlines, “Our requirements specify the type of test to be taken but doesn't stipulate the establishment for your test result.” As of this writing, I have not heard back from Delta My suggestion is that you check with your airline before your trip to be safe For more information, check out this article on the Abbott website. For information on the Navica app, click here

I should note that the BinaxNow Home Test is the test travelers must use. The BinaxNow Self Test is not eligible for travel purposes. The Home Test experience,

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BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Test:


So a Bournatzi is the proud owner of PASS PARTOUT – Tourism (based in Thessaloniki, Greece) and of 2 e-travel magazines. I also manage the sales & marketing for DOUCAS TOURS & TRAVEL, the family DMC company, which is the oldest one in Greece, since it was founded in 1885.

Norm Bour became a Traveling Normad after leaving the US permanently in February 2019 at age 64. His goal was to Travel the World Six Weeks at a Time, and wrote two books about his experiences. Follow his journey at www.TravelYounger.com along with his Facebook blog by the same name.

Debbra Dunning Brouillette, an associate editor of Food, Wine, Travel Magazine, is an award-winning travel writer and photographer who specializes in covering tropical travel, as well as food and wine. She has written for a wide range of print and online media, including her site,

Tropical Travel Girl.

Judi Cohen is living her dream as a world traveller, small-ship cruise and o -thebeaten-path travel writer, and as a social media travel in uencer. Follow her travels and enjoy her photographs on https:// i n s t a g r a m . c o m / Tr a v e l i n g J u d i / , a n d www.TravelingJudi.com.

Jeanine Consoli is a freelance travel writer, blogger at jconstravels.com, and foodie from Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. A contributor to TravelAwaits, Play Stay Eat, Rovology, and Foodie Flashpacker, she loves uncovering the history, culture, & avors of a location. Travel always leaves her hungry to nd hidden gems at home & abroad.

Michael Cullen is a travel writer and Australian national who now calls Thailand home. He loves discovering new places & delving into the culture, food & drink wherever he goes. Michael is a member of TravMedia and IFWTWA Catch up with him here https:// www.clippings.me/michaelcullen and here www.instagram.com/travellingaussiesinasia/

Chris Cutler is president of IFWTWA; executive editor of Food, Wine, Travel Magazine; travel editor of Live in Italy Magazine; and a writer, photographer, and editor. A dual Italian-American citizen, she spends as much time as she can having a d v e n t u r e s i n I t a l y. F o l l o w h e r o n coldpastaandredwine.com & christinecutler.com.

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meet our writers Andrew Der is an environmental consultant and travel journalist specializing in water s c i e n c e , n a t u re , e c o - t r a v e l , c u l t u r a l destinations, and sustainable tourism.

Elsa Dixon is an author, travel, and memoir writer; director of TravelswithElsa LLC; and piano teacher. A dual South African American citizen, she frequently travels to Africa, South America, Europe, and Canada, leading tours and visiting her family and friends. Read more about her at https:// travelswithelsa.com/.

Diane Dobry, an online educator and freelance writer/blogger with a special interest in Hungary, once imported Hungarian wines to the US. Now her book on Hungarian wine and a memoir are in the works. Online she is at GettingHungary.com, on Facebook , and Twitter @gettinghungary.

Robin Dohrn-Simpson has been traveling for as long as she can remember. With over 25 years in the travel industry, she’s been to over 70 countries and 50 states. You can generally nd her exploring somewhere. She’s tried to cure her wanderlust, but it’s not possible! Find her at http:// robindohrnsimpson.com/.

Noreen Kompanik is a San Diego-based travel journalist with over 600 published articles; and assistant editor of Food, Wine, Travel Magazine. She’s a regular contributor to Travel Pulse, Edible San Diego Magazine, San Diego Explorer, and Go Nomad. Noreen is an instructor at Great Escape Publishing’s workshops and pioneered the Travel Writers Café. Catch up with her on noreenkompanik.com.

Sharon Kurtz is a freelance writer who shares her love of travel and food by exploring unique customs, cultures, and avors at home and around the globe. While Dallas, Texas is home with her husband and three spoiled dogs, her carry-on is always packed ready for the next adventure. Catch up with her on http://sharonkkurtz.com and instagram.

Debi Lander thrives on travel and the challenge of photography. She claims she’s never happier than when behind the lens. Her global explorations focus on historical and cultural sites, unique lodging options, culinary experiences, and adventure activities. Debi was thrilled to add Death Valley to the many national parks she’s visited.


Lisa Morales is a marketer and publicist by day, and writer and editor-in-chief for Live in Italy Magazine. Lisa is passionate about the visual arts and her favorite assignment of the year is Art Basel Miami. She loves to cook, study wine, go for nature walks, take photos and, of course, travel. Find her at w w w. a l l e g o r y p r. c o m or www.liveinitalymag.com.

Wendy VanHatten, a retired successful healthcare administrator, now focuses on travel, food, and wine. Her travel blog, https://www.travelsandescapes.net o ers practical tips, suggestions, and trends as well as showcasing her travels. She is a member of International Food Wine Travel Writer Association, TravMedia, and Travel Massive.

Elizabeth Orient is a travel journalist and editor. Both pursuits allow her to express her passion for wanderlust, erasable pens, and the Oxford comma. Elizabeth enjoys writing about unique destinations. Her work has been featured in a variety of publications and on her blog (The Traveling Editor).

Priscilla Willis is a freelance writer and author of the website She’s Cookin’ food and travel. Priscilla specializes in culinary travel and light adventures to burn those calories. She recently traded 30 years of urban living in SoCal beach paradise for a quieter life surrounded by nature in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas.

Amy Piper is a freelance travel writer, blogger, and photographer. Bomb-sni ng dogs chased her in the middle of the night in Bogota, gate agents refused her boarding to Paraguay (wrong visa), and Federal Marshalls announced her seat on a plane looking for a murder suspect (traded places.) It’s always an adventure! Follow her adventures at www.FollowthePiper.com.

Valerie Estelle Rogers is a travel writer with a focus on beautiful destinations, wine, and food. She is an expert unhurried traveler, average golfer, pinot noir consumer, and slow-dinner a cionado. In addition to writing, she guides small groups of one to three guests to European destinations.

Cori Solomon, an award-winning writer/ photographer in Los Angeles, often travels with her dogs in tow. Her blog, The Written Palette, features eclectic articles focusing on travel, dining, wine, art, and pets. Cori's background is real estate. As an animal artist, her articles utilize the art palette both visually and verbally.

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Bella was born almost 13 years ago in Oregon, where she was happily adopted by Linda Milks. She is part Maltese and part Shih Tzu. The Shih Tzu is what makes her so protective since this breed guarded monks in past times. Bella has a big attitude. She may be old, but she loves to ride in the car and chase squeaky toys. She also likes to visit her other dog friends like Catie.

Catie is also a senior dog. She was born more than 12 years ago in Illinois and at the age of about one, she was rescued by Susan and Todd Montgomery from a sick relative. She is especially attached to Todd and has spent the last 11 years following him wherever he goes. She is now blind in one eye, but still full of spunk. She loves going to wineries with her parents, where she gets lots of attention and, most importantly, snacks, which she always devours


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Food, Wine, Travel Magazine May 2021—Where We're Going Next  

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