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Inspiring Angelenos to Travel Near and Far


Honolulu one on one with celebrity chef


Witney Carson Dancing her way Around the World

This Season's Hottest Getaways: Cuba, Orange County, Senegal, Tulum & Wisconsin

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at Madame Tussaud's, Hollywood May 21st 2pm-5pm

Food & Wine Connoisseurs unite as the top chefs from Southern California come together in Hollywood for a worldly experience that will excite both your senses and taste buds. Only a few lucky guests will be able to partake in this very private and exclusive event so get your tickets early!

Join us for an afternoon of Internationally inspired food and beverage from some of Southern California’s most prominent chefs and mixologists. Sample all of their creative dishes and then vote for your favorite at the end of the event. Enjoy live International performances and music, Wine Tasting and Specialty Cocktails. For Tickets Visit

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and many more of her friends are still waiting to be adopted. Visit our website for more details on our available dogs.

An all-volunteer and all-breed dog rescue in Orange County, CA*. Specializing in match-making dogs with a perfect family for the past 8 years!

*Adoptions within Orange County, California only.




Cover Feature One on One with Witney Carson Cover Photo Credit: Cory Osborne

42 The Editors Pick: Honolulu on the Rise

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72 In the Kitchen with Celebrity Chef Giada De Laurentiis 108 Lost Luggage: Where does it really go?

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Letter from the Editors Dark gloomy skies have been replaced by bright, sunny spring days in Southern California and we have to admit they couldn't have come any sooner! Following one of the wettest winters in recent history it is safe to say that SoCal residents are more than excited to feel the warm sunshine that we have missed so much. The drought is officially over and it has left us with green, rolling hills, blooming flowers and an energy that has been, let us just say, in hibernation.

Supporting Barks of Love at Bark Bash

The spring 2017 cover was shot on the beautiful island of Oahu featuring Dancing with the Stars superstar Witney Carson and as you can see it proved to result in a magnificent piece of work. It takes a special team of people to make these photo shoots come together and we are happy to say that we have one of the greatest teams in the industry, who make these projects so enjoyable to work on. From hair and makeup, to style and design to videography and photography; everyone involved brings their best talents and work ethic to the table to create incredibly beautiful work. Witney Carson was a breath of fresh air to work with, one of the sweetest, unpretentious people we have worked with over the years and we are more than happy to have her grace our spring cover! Young, talented, beautiful inside and out we wish Witney all the success in the world and we know she will lead a very successful life with her work ethic and overall character. Watch for her in upcoming seasons of Dancing with the Stars as she dances her way into America's hearts one step at a time! A big thank you to the world renowned Howard Hughes Corporation for making the spring cover possible. Shooting at Ward Village in Honolulu was pleasurable to say the least and everything was first class from start to finish! The proof is in the photos as you can see in the Editors Pick feature as well as our article on cover model Witney Carson. We wish everyone the best season possible; if you are in the Los Angeles area do not miss out on the upcoming Taste of the World event this May. Join us and be a part of the fun, as numerous talented Southern Californian Chefs battle head to head for the title of best dish voted by you, the fans! This year we are excited to announce that the event will be held at the world famous Madame Tussaud's in Hollywood and all guests will also receive complimentary access to the iconic wax museum. Hope to see you there!

Jennifer & Michael

Where are we off to next?

Playa del Carmen



Punta Mita



Meet The Team

Carolyn Ramos

Nadia Banuelos

Lawrence Carroll

Cory Osborne

Ken Alcazar

Dave Wrobel

Huey Bui

Shannon Leigh Acton

William Rouse

Veronica Baca

Robyn Rutherford

Shannon Decker

Melissa Curtin

Ava Roxanne Stritt

Horacio Aguilar

Design Director

Resident DJ


Style & Fashion Director


Fitness Writer

Big Heart Event Productions Cover Photographer

Writer & Photographer



Spa Travel

Associate Photography Director

Lead Stylist


Contributing Photographers

Annabella Biziou Travel Writer

Kelly Magyarics Travel Writer

Katie McElveen Travel Writer

Susan Watkins Travel Writer

Chris Dunn Dezirae Elkins Halina Kubalski Chantele Petrocelli Oli Anderson Carin Tegner

Contributing Writers

Chris Dunn Gail Moore Vic O'Sullivan Charmaine Griffin Joe Carrier Alex Temblador Urban Nilmander

Leslie Moore

Senior Travel Writer

Rachel Stein Travel Writer

Richard Carroll Travel Writer

Courtney Kretchman Travel Writer


H AND-CR AF TED DEL FRISCO’S GRILLE IS THE PLACE TO MEAT UP AND DRINK UP IN THE IRVINE. It’s where you can get together for shareable plates that you may just want to keep for yourself, or buy a round of handcrafted cocktails for your closest friends. So feast on flatbreads and entrées and discover a wine list that stretches from A to Zin. Only at Del Frisco’s Grille.


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winter iSSUe reLeASe PArtY


Couture, hollywood

The Los Angeles Travel Magazine Winter Issue Release Party at COUTURE pulled in the who's who and included fashion installations by local designers including Sabrina & Mannings, Malcolm Alexander and House of Canaca. Small bites were provided by Taste of the Caribbean for guests to enjoy while DJ D-Dub stole the spotlight and got the crowd going. Sugar Bouffant sweetened things up with their organic cotton candy and Tito's Handmade Vodka sponsored the evenings Hosted Cocktails. Guests danced the night away while sipping travel themed drinks and also entered to win a variety of travel getaways. Social media personality Victoria Fratz hosted the exclusive event while the Editors Jennifer McLaughlin and Michael Dunn debuted the ultimate resource for the west coasts savviest travelers among celebrities, magazine contributors, city officials, media guests, and local Angelenos. Red Carpet & Event Photos By: Shannon Acton & Ken Alcazar Event Sponsors: AMG Media Group, Alcazark Photography, Big Heart Event Productions, Couture, DJ D-Dub, House of Canaca, Malcolm Alexander, Sabrina & Mannings, ShanLeigh Photography, Sugar Bouffant, Taste of the Caribbean & Tito's Handmade Vodka.

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HONOLULU BIENNIAL 2017 Middle of Now Here

From March 8 to May 8, Honolulu is hosting a multi-site contemporary visual arts festival throughout various sites in the city. This exhibition brings together artists' and their unique work from various countries connected by the Pacific Ocean that demonstrates Pacific culture. Fumio Nanjo, Director of Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, serves as the Curatorial Director and Ngahiraka Mason, formerly Indigenous Art, Maori Art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tmaki, a position she held for 20 years, is serving as Curator of Middle of Now I Here. A statement on the curatorial theme by Nanjo and Mason explains: “The inaugural Honolulu Biennial 2017 showcases the diversity of ideas, art, and culture from the people who live today throughout the places connected by the Pacific Ocean. It includes contemporary art from Hawaii, the Pacific Islands, Asia, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. By exhibiting the work of artists from all around this vast region, Honolulu Biennial 2017 shines a spotlight on the collective artistic vision from this important and dynamic Pacific neighborhood.” The exhibit expresses the connection of Hawaiian, Polynesian and Asian culture with Western American culture as seen in its theme ‘Umeke | Umbrella. An embrace of the ancestral roots of Hawaii referencing the Umeke as a vessel that holds great wealth combined with the western metaphor of “everyone under an umbrella” which connects two cultural contexts that aspire to the same result: an intertwining of cultures. This exhibit is unique in the way that it's theme is ancestral and contemporary. The art produced shows the pride, struggle and rebirth of these cultures as well as emphasis on the social, political and geographic issues of the island and colonial cultures. The Honolulu Biennial reflects a diversity of styles, media, and international perspectives in a contemporary fashion, which is new to the island. The spirit of these Pacific cultures emerge with strength and grace in showcasing the journey and essence in their progression of who they are as people. A special installation of Yayoi Kusama’s 15-piece sculpture called “Footprints of Life,” sponsored by The Howard Hughes Corporation and Ward Village was unveiled on March 8th at an event within the iconic IBM Building. Through the celebration of contemporary art from the Americas, Pacific and Asian continent, the Honolulu Biennial engages with the rich cultural diversity of Hawaii and an international arts festival of local resonance.



the spacation event SoSPA, Los Angeles

On Sunday, February 19, 2017, Los Angeles Travel Magazine hosted The Spa-cation Event, a day dedicated to pampering and relaxation for local Angelenos. The event took place at the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills located on 8555 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles. Editor-In-Chief, Jennifer McLaughlin hosted the luxurious event which offered a plethora of activities for guests to choose from. Including but not limited to beauty demonstrates by Poise Makeup & Bella Makeup Services, mini spa treatments from SoSPA, LeSalon, SkinCeuticals, Diana Ralys Skin Health, Nailbox LA, shopping, giveaways, a gifting lounge, brunch bites provided by Alligator Pear Catering, wine tasting with Quintessential Wines and more. The beautiful, funny and inspiring Morgan McKean joined the event to empower guests with her knowledge of Intuition, Self-Love, and "Designing Your Destiny". The event was produced by Big Heart Event Productions & AMG Media Marketing. Event Sponsors included Alligator Pear Catering, Blackout Bands, SkinCeuticals, Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, SoSPA, LeSalon, Klean LA, Five Star Fitness, Diana Ralys Skin Health, Jordana Adrienne Fine Jewelry, Quintessential Wines, H2Rose, Primal Elements, Schique Skincare and Yonka. Photos by Shannon Acton






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You asked ... Q: My wife and I absolutely love Italian food but don’t necessary have enough savings to go to Italy for a foodie driven vacation. Do you have any recommendations where we can go without traveling too far to eat some amazing Italian food? A. Absolutely! There are Italian food festivals all throughout the United States, pretty much every major city has one and people drive for miles just to get a taste of the amazing pizza, pasta and other delectable dishes the country is known for. Depending which city you live in the chances are there is a festival nearby. New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Seattle all hold an annual San Gennaro festival and many other cities hold their own version of a “Taste of Italy”. Visit to find a festival near you!

Q: I want to take my dog with me on my next International trip as he truly is my best friend and I don’t want to travel without him. What are the typical rules for traveling with a dog? A. Many countries have strict regulations regarding international pet travel.

Wherever you plan to travel contact the embassy or consulate of the country to confirm pet travel regulations. Make sure you also obtain and bring with you the necessary paperwork (health certificates and documentation) regarding your pet's travel to avoid any possible problems with customs upon arrival. Also it’s always smart to contact your local veterinarian to ensure your pet is in compliance with foreign health regulations. Lastly, and equally important don't forget to check regulations on bringing Fido back to the U.S. as well. Quarantine rules may apply even if your dog has only been gone a short time.

Q: I'm coming to the Los Angeles area for a few days in the summer with my family. What are a few “must see” places to visit for sightseeing and theme parks? There are so many options it’s hard to figure out which ones are the best. A. Well, as we all know Southern California has a plethora of theme parks from Magic Mountain to Universal Studios, to Knott's Berry Farm to the classic Disneyland. At the end of the day just know that if you only have a few days pick one theme park to focus on as they can be quite tiring with kids as well as uber expensive! There are many other great family themed attractions to make for a great day out including Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, Universal Citywalk, The Grove, Venice Beach and more! One thing we know for sure is you will never run out of things to do while visiting the area! Don’t worry if you can’t fit everything in, it will just give you an excuse to come back!

Have a question about travel? Ask away! Email your questions to or tweet us @latravelmag

CITY GUIDE: A LOCAL STAY & PLAY Nothing says chic LA like the W Hollywood! Situated right in the heart of Los Angeles's most popular neighborhood guests can experience all the glitz and glam that make up the City of Angels! Literally steps away from the electric energy of Hollywood Blvd. and a stone's throw from the world famous Hollywood sign, it simply doesn't get much better than this in regards to location. Pull up to the valet, throw your keys and get ready for a night to remember! The W Hollywood lobby catches your attention the second you enter the hotel, fashion and style surround you immediately so drop your bags and head directly to the lobby bar merely steps from the front desk. Start the night with small bites and freshly shaken cocktails as you pick the bartenders brain on all the happenings of the city. There are so many new choices on what to do in LA, the big question now is, what to wear! Head up to the room and enter your humble abode for the evening, sleek, stylish




dĂŠcor invites you to jump on the bed and let all your worries disappear. Kick back and throw your feet up, let the hotel staff take care of your every need! The W Hollywood prides itself on being the perfect platform for the ideal LA experience with its Whatever/Whenever service so whatever you have in mind consider it done. As most people know Hollywood and the surrounding area offers so much you really don't need to travel far for an unending list of festivities. The W's team of experts can set up anything you wish all based on your current mood; show tickets, concerts, city tours, sporting events, unique dining experiences or maybe you want to be a tacky tourist for the day, they can make that happen too! No matter what you decide to add to your weekend agenda these are our LATM musts! Check out the hottest rooftop pool in the city, WET. Hang with friends, people watch and sip cocktails while you take in one of the

best views in the city! Make sure to have your W representative set up reservations for your own private cabana so you can feel like a true celebrity. Before a big night on the town Delphine is the place to enjoy a meal without leaving the hotel. With its electric atmosphere, signature cocktails are at the forefront here to get the evening started. Choose from a list of signature farmers’ market style libations like the Lavender Lemon Sour or the Smoke & Silence. Make sure you come with an appetite as the food here is worth savoring. Serving up contemporary California cuisine with items like the Organic Kale Salad, Spaghetti Squash Carbonara or the famous 12 oz Bone in Filet, Delphine is a great way to kick off your night out.



OC LOCAL: A SEASIDE RESET Laguna Beach is an art lovers dream. A seaside town bustling with art galleries, restaurants and unique shops, Laguna has always been an ideal escape for locals. A number of ocean front hotels also dot the sands of the Pacific Coast offering tourists and locals an ideal place to call home for the ideal Cali retreat. La Casa del Camino is one of the most visited hotels on Pacific Coast Highway and for good reason. The combination of unique surf style and culture coupled with its infamous rooftop social scene and K'ya Bistro, you won’t need to leave the property when staying here. The rooms are quite unique to say the least; two styles are offered at the hotel, Spanish Mediterranean old world luxury or the complete opposite end of the spectrum, a surf




theme complete with retro dĂŠcor. The Casa Surf rooms include large underwater photo murals, surfboards on the wall and even pillows made with board short material! Several rooms offer ocean views to make your stay that much more memorable and if you happen to be in one of the other rooms simply head up to the famous rooftop to get your fill of views for days. The Rooftop Lounge has been a major draw for locals for years and to this day is one of the most popular rooftops in all of OC. Sweeping views of the beautiful, blue Pacific Ocean from the lounge offers a sunset experience that needs to be seen firsthand to be appreciated. If you are lucky you might just catch a glimpse of a pod of playful dolphins or a breaching whale passing by. Join a group of friends and sip on hand

crafted cocktails while noshing on small plates and succumb to the SoCal surroundings. Another Laguna hot spot for over a decade is the properties onsite restaurant, K'ya. Featuring Mediterranean-inspired dishes with a California twist this Laguna Beach icon is one that cannot be missed! Share plates are the theme here; Chef Craig Connole showcases his talents of bringing vivacious flavor combinations comprised of fresh caught seafood, fine cuts of meat and local produce. We are not surprised the establishment is full seven days a week! LATM Recommendations: Spicy Roasted Cauliflower, Roasted Jalapeno & Smoked Bacon Mac n' Cheese, Truffle Risotto and Lobster Meatballs




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2017's Best & Worst

Frequent Flyer Programs With 42% of Americans planning to take a vacation in 2017, business travel spending is expected to grow by about 4% year over year and credit card debt levels exploding, as a result expect airfare savings to be increasingly important in the months ahead. In order to help travelers make the best decisions for their wallets, the personal-finance website WalletHub recently released its report on 2017’s Best Frequent Flyer Programs, which ranks the 11 largest domestic airlines based on 23 key metrics, ranging from the value of a point/mile to blackout dates for rewards flights. You can find a few highlights from those results below: Delta SkyMiles is the best frequent flyer program for the second straight year. Hawaiian Airlines offers the most rewards value per $1 spent ($0.21), with Alaska Airlines coming in a close second ($0.20). Three of the 10 largest airlines offered more rewards in 2017 than in 2016, sweetening the pot by an average of 40%. Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways are the only two major airlines whose miles do not expire because of inactivity. The Frontier Airlines Credit Card and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express are 2017’s best airline credit cards, according to WalletHub’s editors.

SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL, the travel planning and local discovery app and site, recently announced the addition of its 20th tribe: Solo Female Travel. They created this tribe to fill a void in mainstream products for woman-to-woman travel resources – informing and empowering women to safely and enjoyably check destinations off of their personal travel bucket list. In reviewing the findings from its list of the Least Safe Countries for Solo Female Travelers, Trip. com’s data revealed that despite safety warnings and concerns, solo female travelers are not only still traveling to these destinations, but in some cases are going in increasing numbers. Jamaica (ranked third on least safe list) is up 64.2% Colombia (ranked seventh) is up 52.6% Egypt (ranked first) is up 51.6% Ecuador (ranked eighth) is up 37.5%’s Solo Female Travel Tribe will also feature expert writers as part of its guide to provide information to help travelers make decisions on where to travel and what to know before they go. Current posts including information on the Safest Countries for Solo Female Travelers; Most Popular Countries for




Solo Female Travelers and Least Safe Countries for Solo Female Travelers Top ten destinations for solo female travelers include: 1. Tuscany 2. Maui 3. Yellowstone National Park 4. Machu Picchu 5. Yosemite National Park 6. Jerusalem 7. Grand Canyon 8. Tulum 9. Orlando & Walt Disney World 10. Kyoto Fastest growing destinations for solo female travelers include: 1. Singapore 2. Washington, D.C. 3. Dublin 4. Lisbon 5. Greater Los Angeles 6. Greater Seattle 7. Bangkok 8. Sedona 9. Amsterdam


ROKU on sunset

Innovative Dining Group has done it again. Adding to their empire of trendy sushi and steak dining establishments ROKU on Sunset Blvd is simply a step above the rest. Situated where Beverly Hills blends into the world famous Sunset Strip the location couldn't be more ideal to attract LA's finest foodie aficionados. Featuring a vast indoor/ outdoor space with an infusion of modern and classic Japanese design ROKU is more than just meets the eye. Albeit that design and dĂŠcor are always a plus it's the overall dining experience that takes precedence here. Sharp looking friendly staff will guide you to one of three areas to time and savor each part of the menu in the expansive 8000 square foot restaurant. Three types of dining are offered; an up close Teppanyaki experience, interactive sushi bar or table dining for a more intimate setting. Whichever option you choose there truly is something for everyone here at ROKU; the Teppanyaki table is ideal for large groups, a family get together or celebrations whereas the sushi bar makes for a more hands on dining experience as the chefs dazzle you with their sharpened culinary talents. The dining concept at ROKU is all about small plates; designed for a more thorough tasting venture customers are recommended to try a variety of items sharing with friends or loved ones making for a memorable dining experience. Gluten free options are available as well as several non seafood items for those who come to get their carnivore fix! The menu is broken into categories of Modern and Classics, Teppan table, Noodles and Rice, Robata (Hibachi Style), Sushi, Sashimi and Specialty Rolls. It truly makes for a much more enjoyable meal to take one's time and savor each part of the menu, this dining concept is a noticeable difference between ROKU and other sushi restaurants, customers are encouraged to take their time to fully enjoy their meal. LATM Recommendations: Hanabi, Lobster Gyoza Dumplings, Japanese Fried Chicken & Ebi Roll. What would a sushi feast be without a refreshing beverage or two? To compliment an epic food setting ROKU offers a wide variety of sake, whiskeys and handcrafted cocktails. Some of the more popular libations include the Pacific Scorpion (in house infused Svedka Clementine, coconut, pineapple, passion fruit, watermelon and lychee), Blood Orange Bliss (Tequila, fresh mint, blood orange, fresh lime and agave) and the Too Long Oolong (Wild Turkey Honey, fresh mint and oolong tea). 27

a refreshing taste in catering and event production

Innovative Cuisine  •  Exceptional  Service  •  Quality  Local  Ingredients   Make your next event a one of a kind culinary experience





Skilled designers capture the imaginative energy of your vision Experienced coordinators weave the elements to produce flawless events Talented chefs present artistic creations that will WOW your guests





Costa Mesa A taste of Spain has landed in the OC. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting one of the most passionate countries in the world you will understand how much goes into their everyday dining experiences. Small plates “Tapas” have literally revolutionized American dining in the last few years and of course we all know where this style of eating originated from. In the Spanish culture getting together with family and friends is an experience and meals have been known to last for hours with no regard for the time. This wonderful piece of human interaction is what many believe to be the missing piece in American culture, well that is until now! Pueblo in Costa Mesa, has mastered their craft by delivering tasty small plates with an atmosphere that envelops the perfect Spanish ambience making for a meal to remember! Start with a custom made charcuterie board created with your choice of cured meats, imported cheeses, breads and pickled vegetables to stimulate the taste buds and get guests excited for what’s to come! Start perusing on the left side of the menu, Raciones Frias (cold plates) and choose from delectable items including Ceviches de Mariscos (shrimp, bay scallops, fresno chile, seasonal citrus), Pulpo a la Gallega (grilled Spanish octopus, pimenton potato, mojo verde) and Higos y Cordero (mission figs, lamb bacon, payoyo cheese, marcona). After you've tackled the cold plates section move right on over to Raciones Caliente (Hot Plates) with savory items such as Albondigas (lamb meatballs, sofrito, chickpea, yogurt mint) or the Mar y Montaña (braised pork belly, jumbo scallops, parsnip puree, apple). Of course these are just a few of the mouthwatering dishes that change with the season or to the chefs delight bringing guests constant new offerings each time they visit. The staff at Pueblo is well trained to help you choose the best menu items to ensure an enhanced dining experience. Don’t forget one of the most important pieces of any Spanish themed dining extravaganza, the wine! The wine list graciously offers a map of Spain showcasing where each bottle comes from and your server will be more than glad to guide you along for a quintessentially cultured pairing with each dish you choose! It’s very simple, if you're in the need for a taste of true Spanish flavors and don't have the air miles to travel to Barcelona then Pueblo is the next best thing!






Irvine has long been known by many as a planned community where everything kind of well, looks the same. The same qualities that make planned communities like Irvine great can sometimes be the same ones that make the city what some would call “cookie cutter”. Like many cookiecutter communities the city has a plethora of corporate restaurant chains and up until recently it has been quite hard to find a unique dining experience to say the least. In the past few years there has been a small splattering of new restaurants arriving into the city creating some momentum on the foodie scene that many have been waiting a very long time for. A few years back “The Stand” opened on the OC food scene and since it's opening has made quite the splash offering savory comfort American classics with its own original twist. One of five Southern California locations the Stand's creators have mastered their craft in delivering high quality food made with love and a little East Coast flair. It all starts from the moment you pull up to the counter and order from their super friendly staff who will guide you through all the tempting menu items to make your choice (which trust us isn't easy because you will want to try everything). LATM Recommendations: Brussels Sprouts, The famous DTLA Hot Dog, El Capitan Burger & Chimmy Steak Salad Simple, yet exactly what the doctor ordered; high quality comfort food made to make your taste buds come alive. The Stand has been doing it right since day one and continues to put their stamp on SoCal one customer at a time!

Small Bites,

Big Views By: Leslie Moore

The foodie scene is ever evolving around the globe; it can be a challenge to keep up with the hottest restaurants and dining trends. So where should you go to try the newest dish on the block? Here are a few delicious places you need to check out this season.




Zaytinya washington, d.c. A trip to DC without a visit to Zaytinya is simply unimaginable. Zaytinya is just one of celebrated Chef Jose Andres’ incredible dining experiences. This casual, contemporary restaurant with community tables serves up modern mezzes that tantalize the senses. Beyond the Hommus, Labneh, Baba Ghanoush (a must at every meal), you will find a large selection of Mediterranean inspired seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes. There are too many favorites to mention, but if you are someone who hails from Greece, Turkey or Lebanon, your meal will bring back memories of home. This menu is better explored with a large group as all dishes can be shared so bring your friends, pull up a chair and order extensively from a varied and innovative menu. The staff is knowledgeable and will adeptly guide you through the delicious offerings and extensive wine list. This establishment will not disappoint and you will quickly learn why this is a favorite amongst the areas elite!


philadelphia, pa The best advice I could give to anyone traveling to Philadelphia is to book a table at Amada. Their menu boasts a wide range of mouthwatering tapas that bring an innovative take to this traditional style of eating. White Anchovies, Lamb Tartar, Truffle Lavender Honey and Wild Mushrooms are just a few of the unusual suspects on the menu. Opt for the Cochiniloo Asado (roasted sucking pig) or Lobster Paella, both are fantastic! If you are ready to leave your gastronomic adventure to chance, Chef Garces offers a special menu of Andalusian inspired tapas expertly paired with wines that not only enhance but elevate this signature tasting experience. Philadelphia is well known by way of the Liberty Bell, the Declaration of Independence and Rocky but for me, the City of Love is all about the food!

Merriman's Kapalua maui, hawaii Merriman’s features fresh local seafood and island inspired dishes while boasting beautiful sunsets and ocean views. Situated at the end of the island of Maui, where the ocean meets a craggy rock point, this elegant restaurant is perched on a perfectly manicured private lawn overlooking Kapalua Bay. Guests can choose to dine inside their stunning dining room or outside deck. For those looking for the perfect spot to lounge, the open-air bar is an ideal option to watch the sun setting by the fire pit. Executive Chef Peter Merriman is known for his unique regional cuisine and farm to table philosophy. Looking for the freshest fish on the island served with locally sourced ingredients? Make the drive to Merriman’s for Kauai Shrimp with Cucumber Kim Chee, Kona Kampachi-Macadamia Crusted, or Merriman’s “It’s Nice to Share” dinner, which changes with the seasons. The view from the restaurant never gets old, a Hawaiian breeze off the ocean is always soothing and an evening at Merriman’s is always memorable.

Restaurantes Bismark La Paz, Mexico When in La Paz there are two things you must do: swim with the gentle giants, (the whale sharks) and enjoy a late afternoon meal paired with margaritas at Restaurantes Bismark. This funky open air establishment is located on the Malecón in La Paz, so the people-watching is on point. Choose from a variety of lobster, shrimp and fish tacos, and prepare to have your palate pleased. To our surprise, the fish arrived naked on house made corn tortillas and we were directed to a vast salad and salsa bar where we found an assortment of fresh salsas for every taste, made with the most delectable ingredients and many that we had never experienced before. The rustic flavors were to die for. We piled our plates so high that we were unable to fold our tacos. This is certainly one of the best traditional Mexican meals we have experienced to date! Oh, and don’t forget to wash it all down with a refreshing lime margarita! We guarantee this is a meal you will be raving about for a long time. 33

chef spotlight Chef Bernard James

taste of the caribbean, hollywood

With over 20 years in the culinary scene local celebrity Chef Bernard James has been pleasing palates all over Los Angeles with his amazing Caribbean fare. Bringing his passion from his birthplace Guyana James has driven his road to success from his first restaurant in New York, to his food truck in Los Angeles to his current dining establishment Taste of the Caribbean LA in Hollywood. Early in his career James noticed a lack of Caribbean style food in Los Angeles and decided it was up to him to represent the islands and their very distinctive flavor profiles. He stays true to his style and uses Caribbean spices in all his dishes bringing incredible tastes to menu items such as Chicken and Waffles, Shrimp n Grits, Jerk Salmon and more. Make sure to stop by Taste of the Caribbean next time you are in the Hollywood area to give your taste buds a trip to the Caribbean without even booking a flight!

ask the chef LATM: Why did you decide to become a chef? CBJ: There is nothing I love more than making people happy with my food. I realized that cooking was one of my biggest passions in my early years, and I believed that I could make a difference to the food industry with my one of a kind jerk sauce. The perfect Taste Of The Caribbean. LATM: Where and how were you trained? CBJ: Working with Carnival Cruise Line as a Sous Chef allowed me to get the proper training from world-renowned chefs. This training consisted of modern gourmet food. Most of my training took place early on at a hotel in Miami, Florida. LATM: Where is your favorite place to dine in Los Angeles? CBJ: Perch, amazing food! LATM: What is the most popular item at Taste of the Caribbean? CBJ: That has to be my Jerk Chicken Dinner, with my special sweet & spicy jerk sauce. Its a guaranteed mouth-watering experience, there is nothing else like it!




LATM: What is your favorite food? CBJ: French Cuisine. LATM: What is the biggest pet peeve you have in the kitchen? CBJ: Maintaining a clean working area, there is nothing I dislike more than seeing a mess in my kitchen! LATM: Who is your biggest influence? CBJ: Chef Marc Fischer LATM: Who taught you to cook? CBJ: I always had a passion for food and as I grew older I started creating my own custom dishes. Around the age of 8 yrs old, watching my Grandmother cook dinner for me and my siblings allowed me to gain a visual understanding as to what it takes to make quality wholesome food. LATM: Where does your inspiration come from? CBJ: Mostly from watching the Food Network, reading and getting to know other chefs!


Spring Sips: 5 Concoctions to Cure Spring Fever Bartenders around Los Angeles are putting some spring in their step — and in their cocktail shakers. Springtime comes with a plethora of refreshing drinks, but the best ones are those that can be mixed together with a few fresh ingredients and on-hand spirits. Citrus juices, floral flavors, and lighter, clear spirits are in this season after a long winter of whiskies and heavy hot toddies. Craft cocktails are still taking center stage this spring and mixologists are adding a gourmet touch to their drink offerings utilizing everything from fruits and herbs to honey and homemade liqueurs. If you are looking for ideas to add new appeal to your bar’s drink menu, here are a few winning drink recipes that will be sure to make your bar a star attraction this spring.




Fruit Punch Fizz the ingredients 2 oz of Fruit Punch Vodka, 1 oz Cranberry Juice, Ginger ale, Lime Wedge - for garnish, Cherry - for garnish

HOW TO MAKE A FRUIT PUNCH FIZZ Add fruit punch vodka and cranberry juice, then fill with gingerale and stir gently. Garnish with a lime wedge and a maraschino cherry.


Sour-Cherry Old-Fashioned the ingredients 2 Sour Cherries, stemmed and pitted, 1 Orange Peel Strip, 1 Sugar Cube, 2 or 3 Dashes of Bitters, 2 oz Rye or Bourbon

HOW TO MAKE A SOUR-CHERRY OLD-FASHIONED Put the cherries, orange peel, and bitters into an OldFashioned glass, Crush the cherries and sugar with a muddler. Fill the glass with ice, Add whiskey and stir until drink is cold.

Le Grand Fizz the ingredients 1 1/2 Parts Grey Goose Vodka, 1 Part St-Germain Elderflower Liquer, 1/2 Part Freshly Squeezed Lime (approx. half a lime), 3 Wedges of Fresh Lime, 2 Parts Chilled Soda Water

HOW TO MAKE THE GRAND FIZZ Build in an oversized cabernet wine glass with lots of ice. Add Grey Goose® Vodka and St-Germain®. Then squeeze fresh lime and discard. Top with chilled soda water. Stir and garnish with fresh lime wedges and a stirrer.




Mojito Royal the ingredients 40 ml White Rum, 30 ml Lime Juice, 3 Mint Leaves, 2 teaspoons Sugar, Orange Juice and Champagne

HOW TO MAKE A MOJITO ROYAL Muddle mint sprigs in a glass with sugar and lime juice. Add rum, a splash of Orange Juice and top up with Champagne. Garnish with a sprig of mint leaves.

Rosemary Greyhound the ingredients Rosemary Simple Syrup: 2 cups of water, 2 cups of sugar and 6 sprigs of rosemary Cocktail: 2 ounces Tito's vodka, ½ ounce rosemary simple syrup, 4 ounces grapefruit juice and sprig of rosemary for garnish

HOW TO MAKE A FRUIT PUNCH FIZZ Simple Syrup: In a small sauce pan over medium low heat, dissolve the sugar into the water for about 5 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil or crystals will form. In a heat safe container, pour the warm sugar water mixture over the rosemary sprigs and let it steep for at least 1 hour. The rosemary simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 10 days. Cocktail: In a tall glass filled with ice combine the vodka, rosemary simple syrup and grapefruit juice. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and grapefruit slices.



DJ Bad Ash is quickly being recognized as LA’s hottest new female DJ on the scene. Also known as Ashlee Williss, DJ Bad Ash has DJ’ed some of the most elite parties around the globe. Whether its a beach party in St. Tropez, a hotspot in LA or a country music festival in Nashville, DJ Bad Ash makes every party bada** playing an open range of music and mashups custom fit for the event. Ashlee began her career as a country crossover singer-songwriter. She was named “Nation’s Top 10 Singer-Songwriters” by Guitar Center in 2011. She has written & recorded with the legendary singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, who quoted “Ashlee’s voice has elements of all my favorite artists put into one”. Endorsed by Gibson Guitar, Ashlee performed in the gifting suite of The Grammy’s, American Music Awards, Country Music Awards & Sundance Film Fest to name a few and has sang with mega-stars




including Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, ZZ Top, Tom Jones, Lionel Ritchie, Barry Manilow, Rascal Flatts and Martina McBride. With her diverse knowledge, impeccable ear and passion for all types of music it was only natural to become a DJ. She’s become quite the commodity in only 2 years and has traveled the world DJ'ing music festivals and after parties along with the biggest names in country music, headlined The Music Run (a global 5k run and EDM music festival), opened for Snoop Dogg at HEAT Nightclub in Downtown Disney, DJ’ed most of the major nightlife venues in LA including a summer long residency at The W Hotel in Hollywood and was featured DJ’ing on Bravo TV’s show Shahs of Sunset. Follow Her: @DJBadAsh

LATM: What do you think it is about your skills that make you stand out from every other DJ out there? BA: Every DJ has a different style. I like to blend songs and keep the vibe flowing more than quick mixing. Also since I am a singer I like to play songs that have recognizable vocals and sing along. LATM: What was the moment that you realized that you wanted to do this for a living? BA: I've always been an artist and performer and I honestly never thought I would be a DJ. But after my very first time playing around on the decks I was hooked. It opened up my mind to all different types of music I had never liked before and it gave me inspiration and excitement that I had lost as a singer. I live to learn and I'm constantly learning new things as a DJ. There's always new songs coming out and new equipment to play with and a new audience, so every single gig is different and I'm always challenged. Also it gives me so much joy to be able to play songs and watch people feel good dancing to them. LATM: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working on music? BA: I'm always working on music so relaxing would be my favorite thing to do. I love good food, movies, meditating and spending time with friends and family. LATM: Where do you go in LA when you have a night off? BA: Because my life is a party, I enjoy simple things. I'm a foodie and I love to find new restaurants. I love Crossroads, Gracias Madre, and as silly as it sounds I really love to just go to Erewhon (the healthy grocery store) and eat there. Don't get me wrong, I love a good party too. LATM: Tell us your favorite LA Spots. BA: The new Dream Hotel just opened next to my house in Hollywood, I'm pretty sure I'll be at Tao and Beauty & Essex (which are both inside the hotel) on a regular basis. LATM: What is the best song or remix out right now? BA: Currently my new favorite song is called Bad Bitch by Bebe Rexha Ft. Ty Dolla Sign LATM: What is your go to track to rescue a dance floor? BA: Even though it's been played a billion times you can always get people dancing with Uptown Funk, Sexy Back or Billie Jean.


Editors Pick

THE EDITOR'S PICK: honolulu on the rise Honolulu has been long known as the busiest city of the Hawaiian Islands with its crowded beaches, bustling downtown shopping district, high rise hotels and a plethora of dining options. To be honest because of this stigma when a truly relaxing vacation is needed, Honolulu would not be our first choice of islands to fantasize about. A recent visit changed all that and we received an eye opening experience to the newly revitalized capital city which completely modified our view on this iconic island getaway. Many years ago Honolulu had such an influx of tourism that the beaches became so crowded and the white sands of days past became littered with trash, so much so that the locals were not pleased with the disrespect their island paradise was being given. Fast forward to present day and Honolulu has become the ideal tropical island getaway with its inviting blend of luxury accommodations, white sandy beaches, turquoise water, historical culture, upscale shopping and world class dining experiences. As you walk the same beaches that were once polluted you can certainly see how much work has been put into keeping the area as pristine as possible even with the thousands of tourists that flock here each day. In recent years there has been a resurgence of new developments in the hotel and business sector providing Honolulu with the facelift it needed to compete on the global tourism stage. 42



Editors Pick Ward Village The world renowned Howard Hughes Corporation has worked diligently over the past few years to bring a new concept that has proven detrimental to Honolulu's revitalization. The areas new community is changing the game for Honolulu's residents and tourists alike. Ward Village was designed to bring a culmination of luxury high rise residency, a multicultural blend of shops and restaurants along with outdoor gathering spots all done with an artistic local flare. The perfect mix of urban living and local island culture, Ward Village has been attracting people in droves to observe and experience the newest development in the city. The 60-acre master planned community was designed to give local Hawaiians and world travelers a new place to gather, live, shop and eat! Luxury Residences Ward Village offers a creative style of living just steps from the majestic beaches of Oahu. A stunning location to say the least, situated between Ala Moana and Downtown, Ward Village has quickly become one of the most sought out plots of land to call home. Five luxury towers all offering different amenities are available for residence; from townhomes, condominiums to beautifully designed penthouse suites there is certainly something for every taste. The towers Waiea,

Anaha, Ae'o, Ke Kilohana, and A'Ali'i all offer prime locations, first class amenities and incredible views of the beautiful beaches below. Honolulu residents have never seen anything like this before. Ward Village has introduced luxury residency at the highest level of sophistication on one of the most visited islands in the world!

Local Products & Dining Unlike any other up and coming neighborhood Ward Village features retail and dining options along with new and notable restaurants, markets and more bringing excitement to the area. South Shore Market features local vendors that are able to showcase their clothing lines, jewelry, home decor and other products including local chocolates, candies, honey and more. This creative hub allows local business owners a platform to display their homegrown talents in a location where small business is celebrated. Aside from South Shore Market two standout restaurants have quickly come to the forefront as a part of the Ward Village inception and they are creating quite the buzz among local Honolulu foodies. Nobu One of the most famous names in Japanese fusion dining has landed at Ward Village and locals couldn't be more


Editors Pick

South Shore Market at Ward Village 44



Editors Pick

pleased with this new addition to the areas culinary scene. If you are a true foodie and love seafood at the highest level there is a good chance you have visited one of the 22 Nobu locations worldwide. After 10 years in Waikiki, Nobu recently relocated to the stunning new location inside Ward Village designed with style and simplicity in mind. The combination of sleek modern décor, meticulously presented gastronomy and a passionate staff make this a hub for an elegant evening out with friends or intimate date night. Located at the base of the Waiea tower, Nobu presents a sense of worldliness to the neighborhood that is difficult to duplicate. Founders Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert De Niro are proud to have their world renowned establishment represented by husband and wife duo Matt and Yuka Raso. Items including the Bigeye Ahi Poke Nobu Style, Shaved Ice Ceviche and Yellowtail Jalapeno make for an evening to remember when visiting this delectable establishment.

Piggy Smalls Let’s start with the name. It's safe to say that Chef Andrew Le is a fan of 90's rap music. It is also safe to say that he has an enormous passion for cooking; combine these two and you come up with one of the most popular restaurants in Honolulu, Piggy Smalls. The second restaurant in Le's command after his flagship location “The Pig & the Lady” Le has been gaining a ton of momentum in the cities culinary scene. Collecting numerous accolades along the way, Le has created a unique dining experience at Piggy Smalls that is hard to duplicate. This type of cuisine is deemed as Vietnamese Fusion with a highlight on the word fusion. A rather casual dining experience Le serves his comfort food family style and has the locals lining up day after day to try his unique menu items. Le along with his Chef de Cuisine Brandon Lee, bring a variety of flavor profiles with quite

Editors Pick

the international flare to say the least. The menu is influenced by countries including Morocco, Hungary and Indonesia as well as the most obvious, Vietnam. Of course there is a strong tie to the Hawaiian Islands where the dynamic duo does everything they can to include products local to the area. This keeps the menu as fresh as possible all while helping to boost the local economy! Don’t leave without trying the LFC (Laotian fried chicken) and Pho-Strami Burger. Stay Two locations grace the beaches of Waikiki only a ten minute walk from each other. The Outrigger Waikiki Beach and Outrigger Reef. Take your pick, both offer prime beachfront real estate with stunning views of Diamond Head and turquoise blue waters that you could literally sit on your balcony and gaze at for hours!




Outrigger, Waikiki Beach Situated right in the heart of Waikiki Beach it is hard to ask for a better location when looking for a hotel on Oahu. Step outside the lobby door and you are in the heart of Honolulu's infamous shopping district with every top retail store you can imagine. If shopping is not your thing simply stroll to the opposite side of the hotel and bask in the sun while the soft powdery sand embraces your bare feet. The best of both worlds is what you get with Outrigger Waikiki, shopping and dining to your left, Waikiki Beach, water activities and the properties pool to your right! From the moment you check in you absorb the quintessential Hawaiian feel. Upon check in the staff welcomes you with a refreshing tropical drink and a cold scented towel to guarantee a warm and inviting first impression. The rooms offer

Editors Pick

incredible views and have all the amenities you could ever need for the perfect relaxation getaway! The beachfront is packed with poolside fun as well as water sports galore. Outrigger canoes are available for rides on Hawaii's most famous beach. Grab your loved ones and partake in one of the islands most well known activities. Looking for the ultimate Oahu dining experience? Outrigger Waikiki just happens to be connected to the most legendary restaurant on the island, Dukes. The establishment has become a legendary gathering spot for locals and tourists to pay homage to Hawaii's great sportsman Duke Kahanamoku. Sit right on the sand and enjoy local seafood, burgers and more. Of course it wouldn't be a trip to Dukes without a piece of their legendary Hula Pie! After dinner make sure you book a reservation at Blue Note, the hotel's signature Jazz lounge where world famous performers bring the house down making for the perfect night on the town and all without leaving the hotel! Blue Note stands as the premier venue for world-renowned artists from jazz to blues to local Hawaiian favorites.

and greets between local farmers, brewers and artisans from the area that bring tastes of their crafts for guests to try first hand. Orchids With so many dining options in Waikiki it would take a long time to experience all the top restaurants. To save time, look no further than Orchids situated right inside Halekulani Hotel. The ideal location for a special evening whether business or pleasure, you can’t go wrong here! Deemed as casually elegant, Orchids brings the flavors of Coastal Italy to the islands of Hawaii making for a blissful combination of savory meats and seafood served with a stunning oceanfront backdrop. Take in some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world as you enjoy Chef Christian Testa's creative culinary dishes which blend local flare with big Italian coastal flavor! Savory dishes including Kahuku Prawns, Fresh Burrata Alla Panna, Homemade Lasagnette and Linguine All' astice with Lobster keep guests coming back time and time again!

Outrigger Reef A mere 10 minute walk from the Outrigger Waikiki sits another classic Outrigger Hotel. Known to be more of a relaxing getaway just off the beaten path of the hustle and bustle of the shopping district guests receive all the amenities from their sister location Outrigger Waikiki. This prime beachfront location offers postcard views of Diamond Head and scenic coastline. The hotel provides four onsite dining options; Kani Ka Pila Grille, Ocean House Restaurant, Shore Bird Restaurant and Beach Bar (they even have a Starbucks). If activities are on your itinerary the Outrigger Reef has just what the doctor ordered; a sunset catamaran sail. Of course you can also opt for the Oahu circle island excursion, try outrigger canoe surfing or just relax at the LaaKea Spa with a soothing lava rock massage. Win some brownie points with your spouse and make this a trip to remember. Complimentary vow renewals are offered weekly for those looking to celebrate their love for one another. Join other couples as you partake in a unique Hawaiian ceremony with the rising sun in the background and waves crashing around you. Outrigger Resorts have become world famous for this amenity that has guests coming back year after year to celebrate their love. For a more exclusive experience guests can opt to have access to the properties Voyager 47 Club Lounge which includes locally inspired daily breakfast, snacks throughout the day, evening cocktails and Pupus (Hawaii's term for Hors d’oeuvres). Unlimited wine, beer and champagne are offered as you take in the stunning Hawaiian sunsets on the outdoor deck. The club also offers recommended activities for the day as well as weekly meet



Cruising with Oregon's Pinot Noir By: Richard Carroll Photography: Halina Kubalski






destinations the spirit of the historic Pacific Northwest, the Empress offers an intriguing look into the character and heart of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the American Indian, and the notable towns along the river, each with a story for the history books. The paddlewheel journey allows adventurers to experience trouble-free travel while stepping back in time to enjoy the periodstyle furniture, and hallways lined with rare photos depicting dismayed rag-tag gold panners, old river boats crowded with humanity all staring at the camera, gamblers holding losing cards in tawdry salons, and Clatsop Indians and other native tribes in traditional attire. The fast-flowing river with its mercurial personality controlled by the sky, climate, and angle of the sun, can change from Minnie the Mermaid to Jack the Ripper in an instant with never an apology. From its free-flowing headwaters in the Canadian Rockies, the 1,243-mile river, the fourth largest in North America by volume, is one of the most difficult navigable rivers because of frequent narrow channels. Yet at times it is so wide it seems an ocean and can be tossed by large wind-swept waves though the high-tech Empress, manned by captains born and raised on the river, who barely take notice.

The American Queen Steamboat’s 112-cabin paddlewheeler, the American Empress, whose year around home is the mighty Columbia River, treats guests to some of the finest wines in North America during a seven-day roundtrip sail on an ever-changing river from Vancouver, Washington, downstream to the mouth of the Columbia where its waters spill into the endless Pacific and back upstream to the majestic Columbia Gorge in the pristine Pacific Northwest, past 90-plus vineyards and some 40 wineries straddling the OregonWashington State line. Long-stemmed wine glasses are busy at dinner as guests negotiate a selection of locally produced and freely flowing red and white varieties. Attentive servers who allege that




an empty wine glass is regretful karma are on hand to advise and pour. The afternoon tastings in the show lounge, as well as a pour or two of a prestigious and nicely layered Oregon pinot noir, are followed each night by invited spokespersons from the local wineries who, before the first course is served, offer a brief but detailed synopsis of the wines being poured. The Empress proudly showcases only regional wines with a selection of seven red and seven white vintages all from wineries along the route. The family-owned boat, built in Freeland, Washington, with its bright red paddlewheel has been sailing the Columbia, Willamette and Snake Rivers for some 27-years. With an enormous personality and ambience reflecting

The joy of a Pacific Northwest sail is the landscape, etched in time yet changing from minute-to-minute like a colorful travel film. Heading west from Vancouver, the cruise begins with visions of wineries and dazzling neatly planted vineyards on both the Oregon and Washington side of the Columbia emerging like figures in a Matisse painting. It is easy to imagine that his masterful brush strokes created the drifting clouds and lengthy tinted shadows that lie over this stunning landscape. Victorian-era homes enshrined on the steep banks of the river mark the town of Astoria, founded in 1811, the oldest town west of the Rockies. The locals with umbrellas in hand remark, “Here in Astoria, we don’t age we just rust.” Guided excursions on company-owned, Hop-On-Hop-Off buses carry cruisers on a history-laden journey in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, through a thick forest of Western Red Cedar where a dense population

of black bears roam, to Fort Clatsop, Bakers Bay and Cape Disappointment State Park, aptly named thanks to a hidden sandbar that has caused the demise of more than 2,000 ships. Cape Disappointment rises from the shore of the largest ocean in the world, just where the mighty Columbia River ends its journey. Lewis and Clark and their ailing weatherworn men also ended their 4,000miles expedition here, and were the first Euro-American entrants into the American Indian world of the Columbia Plateau. A splendid museum that opened in 2003 presents another opportunity to step back in time to observe an astonishing era of discovery. Leaving Astoria, the riverboat, with her paddlewheel spinning, sails gracefully back upstream past thick strands of cottonwood trees crowding one another leaf-to-leaf as the Empress moves so close to the shoreline it seems you can reach out and pluck a leaf. Beyond the shoreline rolling hills covered with towering pine trees are crowned with a blanket of clouds, while tidy villages, seemingly isolated from the buzz of big cities, appear as the Captain negotiates the locks at Bonneville Dam.

with neatly planted vineyards. The wind, baring its teeth, brushes across the boat with an early morning growl as birds skim the dappled white caps. Off-boat excursions carry guests on the Old Scenic Highway to wind-swept Crown Point and Vista House, the jewel in the crown of the Columbia Gorge, built in 1917 as a resting place for travelers eager to absorb the dramatic views of the National Scenic Area. A further highlight along the Old Highway is Multnomah Falls; these stunning double falls are one of six waterfalls visited on the scenic tour that were chosen from among the 70 named falls on the Oregon side. While moored in Portland’s Tom McCall Park, guests are introduced to the Willamette Valley, 30 miles south of Portland, with a wine tasting jaunt to the John Storrs Winery, Four Graces, and Duck Pond Cellars located in an immaculate

garden setting. All family-owned, the winemakers agree, “Our wines thrive on the rich flood silt loam and the fertile earth created by volcanic action and glaciers, along with cool nights and warm days, which all make for a perfect marriage.” Back on board entertainment is provided by Lindy and Greg Pendzick a show-stopping talented acting, singing, and dancing duo, along with two-fisted pianist Frank Chase whose enormous sense of humor and New Orleans-style stride piano rattle the lights in the Paddlewheel Lounge. Riverlorian Lawrence Cotton is on hand as well to present appropriate ongoing commentary and lectures on the Pacific Northwest. On disembarkation day it is difficult to bid farewell as tears all around fall with the rain.

Cruising only during daylight hours, the boat reaches its farthest eastern port and overnights at The Dalles, (1857), known earlier in its history as the end of the Oregon Trail. Looking like a 1930’s movie set, The Dalles is clean and tidy, with Klindt’s, the oldest bookstore in Oregon, on one side of the street and the Baldwin Saloon just around the corner. Klindt’s opened in 1870 boasts a resident ghost in the backroom, while the Baldwin Saloon opened in 1876 is decorated with some 40 oil paintings depicting the local history, including a Lady of the Night who despises clothing. From The Dalles, the Empress cruises downstream once more, to Stevenson, a city on the north bank of the Columbia recognized for some of the best windsurfing and sailing in Washington. Past sheer-sided stone cliffs blanched by the water levels, the boat makes her way through sharpsided valleys past rolling hills covered with pastel shades of green, contrasting nicely



Portland Beards, Bikes and a Breath of Fresh Air. By: Shannon Leigh Acton

Portland is a city that embraces the fringe-- whether politics, lifestyle, fashion or otherwise. It’s where beard growing is serious business and urban lumberjack couture thrives. Just search the hashtag #lumbersexual and see for yourself (although locals claim the term is “so 2015”). When it comes to counterculture, Portland sets the bar high -- bikes as opposed to cars; food pods, not food trucks; and micro-housing over mcmansions. As a California resident (transplanted from the Pacific NorthWest 20 years ago), I quickly fatigue of our concrete jungle packed between freeways, master-planned communities, and strip malls. That’s why the extraordinary amount of native habitat and public outdoor space within Portland’s city limits is quite refreshing. Decades ago, the proudly progressive “City of Roses” implemented keen preventative measures to combat unwanted urban sprawl and to keep nature and farmland readily accessible. Downtown, the “clear vistas” program mandates five blocks of visibility in each direction through understated signage, large windows and restrictive structural height regulations. As a visitor, this makes for an easily navigable city center, as well as a visually lush landscape. Portland is home to the largest urban forest in the 52



destinations different vendors offer everything from bratwurst to bento. However, nearly every neighborhood is home to at least one of these quirky Portland concept establishments.

U.S. (over 5 acres in size, with hundreds of acres of trails), 42 farmer’s markets within a 30-mile radius, 200 parks, and the country’s largest concentration of American Elm Trees located in the heart of the cultural district known as the South Park blocks. In fact, with 24% of the city protected by tree cover, Portland, quite literally, provides a breath of fresh air for both residents and millions of annual visitors. Get Your Zen On After serving almost 50 years as a landmark and haven of inner-city serenity, the privately-funded, non-profit Portland Japanese Garden unveils a $33.5M expansion this spring. Located in the West Hills overlooking the downtown skyline, it was originally constructed at the site of the former Washington Zoo a few years after Portland became sister city to Sapporo, Japan. In addition to its original five gardens (Flat Garden, Strolling Pond Garden, Tea Garden, Natural Garden, and Sand and Stone Garden), world renowned architect Kengo Kuma and master garden designer Sadafumi Uchiyama designed a new cultural center to further immerse visitors in traditional Japanese customs and art forms. With an emphasis on native natural elements, the new center will include educational and workshop spaces, gallery spaces, administration centers, a new bonsai garden and a stunningly intimate and environmentally integrated tea house. Wander on your own or join a public tour. Either way, this

oasis within the city provides a tranquil space for spiritual reflection, communion with nature, and connection to ancient traditions and culture. Open year round, days and hours vary by season. See for more information. Food Nation Portland is experiencing what local expert, Damon Kupper of Portland Walking Tours describes as the “Golden Age of Food.” The most interesting development in food trends is the concept of food pods -- entire city blocks of food “trucks” (carts, trailers, etc.), typically surrounding large public parking lots. Some 800 and counting of these diverse culinary establishments avoid paying city infrastructure taxes that brick-and-mortar restaurants are subject to simply by having wheels and an axle (making them technically mobile). This “loophole” makes the booming Portland street food scene affordable for both vendor and customer. Win-win. The largest and most well known pod is located at 10th and Alder, where about 65

If you haven’t had enough to eat after snacking your way through the street food phenomena of PDX, head over to the historic former Carriage & Baggage Building where The Pine Street Market, Portland's first food hall, opened in the Spring of 2016. Here, nine highly curated top area purveyors and chefs come together to offer a unique, communal, and sometimes chaotic dining experience daily between noon - 11pm. From Korean smokehouse BBQ to authentic Japanese ramen to fresh artisanal baked goods, you cannot go wrong with any of this place’s choices. However, I do recommend you leave room at the end for Whiz Bang Bar. From the creators of the wildly popular Salt & Straw gourmet ice cream stores sprinkled throughout Portland (and now open in Los Angeles), Whiz Bang Bar offers a slightly different approach -- soft serve dessert bar creations. My favorite is the strawberry shortcake sundae, made with frozen vanilla custard, fresh strawberries, whipped cream and another renowned local icon, Pine Street Biscuits. It’s creamy, dense, refreshing, decadent, and definitely way, way off the Whole30 regimen.


destinations Burn Baby Burn After all that, you may need to burn some major calories. So, why not completely embody the eco-conscious, active Portland spirit by renting a bike? It’s a fun and affordable alternative to seeing the town’s sights. Besides, your waistline will thank you! Portland is designated a “platinum-level” Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Last summer, Nike (one of the area's largest and most influential corporations) introduced BikeTown, a bike share program with a fleet of about 1,000 orange bikes at various stations placed conveniently around the city. Don’t be nervous. Portland’s street lights are timed for cyclists, most public transportation modes are bicycle-friendly, there are ample designated bike lanes, and there’s even bicycle-friendly Tillicum Bridge, the newest of 12 bridges crossing the Willamette River. Tip: pay a visit to iconic “Portlandia”, the second largest copper relief (repoussé) statue in the United States, second only to the Statue of Liberty. Designed by Raymond Kaskey, she was modeled after the “Queen of Commerce”, holding a trident - a symbol of the city's’ connection to the water and sea. She currently sits above the entrance of the Portland Building, designed by Michael Graves, located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue.




Post-cycle, head to Knot Springs Spa & Fitness, “an out-of-the-ordinary social club centered on health, wellness and good times”. I recommend a relaxing massage followed by a natural springsinspired bathing ritual with one of Portland’s iconic bridge scenes as your backdrop. Quite the way to end your day. Sleepy in Stumptown Why settle for a plain jane chain hotel, when you can enjoy an historic property with a storied past? The Sentinel on SW 11th Street in the heart of Portland’s city center proclaims itself “a luxury hotel with vision”. Originally built in 1909 as the Seward Hotel, it’s said to have been one of the more daring buildings of its time, as well as one of the finest examples of Italian Renaissance architecture in the United States. Purchased and extensively renovated in 2012 by Provenance Hotels, the Sentinel was aptly re-named for the original robot-like gatekeepers adorning its exterior roofline.

Enthusiastically embracing the “alternative spirit of Portland”, classic architecture and decor (think richly hued walls, houndstooth upholstery & tufted leather seating) mixes with more playful elements like ceramic owls, globes, books upon books upon books, edgy works of mixed media art, and an impressive collection of black & white photography. There’s even a vintage Underwood typewriter and writing desk in the lobby,

should one be inspired to peck out a sonnet or two. An extensive list of signature amenities include a pillow menu, pet services, Salt & Straw ice cream, and a number of beehives on the rooftop producing local honey. Insider Tip: Ask to view “The Room at the End of the Hall”.



WISCONSIN'S Fox Cities By: Richard Carroll Photography: Halina Kubalski




destinations There is not a fox to be seen in Wisconsin’s Fox Cities. They moved on years ago and although the name remains, the crafty little fox is not to be blamed. In fact the historic Fox River that meanders its way through the heart of the Fox Cities was named by French explorers who were referring to the American Indians who lived near the river at the time. Brimming with history, the Fox was an essential water highway between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River that was used by American Indians, fur traders, French Canadians, and anyone with a boat that would float and a huge sense of adventure. Over the years small towns, hamlets, and villages popped up along the riverbanks, followed by as many as 45 paper mills uniting the area in a common economy. The villages and towns, at all their various stages of development, stitched one to another by the bridges that crisscross the river, steadily grew into a single Fox Cities entity while retaining the individuality of each proud community. A popular local catchphrase sums up their relationship: “Water separates our cities, towns and villages, yet it’s a bond that brings us together.” Today there are just 20 paper mills left in Fox Cities, yet the Paper Discovery Center flourishes here, celebrating all things paper. The city of Appleton, a kissing cousin to Neenah, Menasha, Little Chute, Kimberly, Combined Locks, Kaukauna, Freedom, and 12 other communities that belong to the Fox Cities collection, is noted as the focal point and major hub of the group. Appleton, a casual small town with big town amenities, is clean as a pin, with little or no street litter or graffiti, and the kind of small town manners that ensure Appletonians politely stop for pedestrians. Tucked away in the heart of Middle America, 30 miles south of Green Bay, Appleton is recognized as a safe city with a vibrant downtown and loads of parades. It is a slice of authentic Wisconsin where smiles and a hearty welcome are part of the daily routine. Mercifully, life slows a bit in this part of the country demonstrating that the spirit of Americana is alive and well. With incredibly varied and wide-ranging social and cultural tastes, the city is known to have the most avid minor-league baseball fans in the country with a 5,600-seat Fox Cities Stadium supporting their beloved Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, while nearby the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center regularly presents major Broadway shows to full houses. In the heart of downtown is the Trout Museum of Art, a gorgeous, two-level venue highlighting 22 renowned artists who created the covers and visual art for the Little Golden Books, over the course of some 65-years. Each work of art has its own story to tell and is nicely displayed in this feel-good, award-winning venue. A second feel-good visit awaits at the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass on North Park Avenue in Neenah. Housed in a 1929 Tudor home overlooking Lake Winnebago is a dazzling, 3,000-piece glass collection celebrating the fun and art of glass showcasing Germanic glass, Victorian glass baskets, modern glass sculptures and a world-renowned collection of 19th century paperweights some crafted by classic French glass makers, such as Baccarat and Clichy. Opened in 1959 with free admission, their vocation is illustrating exciting and artistic discoveries in glass.


destinations Surprisingly Fox Cities was home to another legendary artist as well: Harry Houdini, famed illusionist and escape performer, who arrived from Budapest with his family as a young boy in 1880. Harry’s family settled in on Appleton Street, and while his father served as the town’s first Rabbi, Harry worked on his skills performing for the neighborhood kids. Houdini would be thrilled to see his name prominently displayed in front of the county history museum housed in a massive medieval-style castle built in 1923 and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum shares the rich history of the Fox River Valley from 1840 on, and the large, detailed, permanent Houdini exhibit makes one want to pick up a book and try to understand this unique personality who loved to be wrapped in chains and draped from buildings. Though Houdini was bigger than life, Thomas Edison also owns a piece of Appleton history. In 1882, a striking Queen Anne home on a bluff above the Fox River became the first residence in the world powered by a centrally located hydroelectric system using Thomas Edison’s invention. With a huge crowd out in the street, the home was flooded with light, putting Appleton on the cutting edge of the electrical revolution. Listed on the National Register of Historical Places, the home, known as the Hearthstone Historic House Museum, has been meticulously restored and is a work of art with vintage furniture, nine fireplaces, original Thomas Edison light fixtures, and an original Edison phonograph. Stephanie Malaney, Tours and Education Director said, “The home is 95 percent age appropriate and the shout in September of 1882, ‘We got the light! We’re bringing light to the people,’ was broadcast across the country via radio,” smiling she continued, “Gas lamps and candles went bye-bye thanks to Edison, but you know this wasn’t the last ‘first’ for us. Appleton also had the first trolley in 1886.” A year after the first trolley rumbled through town, prestigious Lawrence University opened their doors in Appleton. Today Lawrence hosts 1,500 undergrads




from 46 states and 42 countries, offering them a five-year double degree Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music. With students’ musical passion and talent floating through town, dinners feature Wisconsin’s big three: beer, cheese, and chocolate. Spats Restaurant on West College Avenue serves cheese curds, breaded and deep-fried, and rich chocolate specialties with jazz playing in the background, while at Lombardi’s

Steakhouse, guests enter into a extensive history of the famed NFL Green Bay Packer Coach, Vince Lombardi, with hundreds of rare photos, letters, and trophies. The classic restaurant has hosted numerous NFL teams and coaches. Eating here is like dining in a private estate owned by someone with deep pockets who smokes a pipe and has invited you to wander through his 400-bottle wine cellar.

destinations A must stop for beer aficionados is the Stone Cellar Brew Pub located in an 1858 stone building for an exclusive tasting of homemade brews available only in Wisconsin such as their Houdini Honey Wheat and Vanishing Vanilla Stout. Winner of 19 awards, Stone Cellar has a popular pub restaurant in the basement serving Schnitzel pared with Six-Grain Ale, cheese curds, and Beer Battered Lake Perch. A great lunch

choice is Simon’s Specialty Cheese store in Little Chute where visitors learn that Wisconsin is the only state in the country with a three-year program for Cheese Makers who are working towards a Master classification. Fortified with cheese, golfers can book in at the fivestar Best Western Premier property in Neenan with hospitality to spare and is

adjacent to the nine-hole Bridgewood Golf Course with a full-service pro shop. Fox Cities is a bucket list must for anyone with an urge to experience a slice of true Americana.



TULUMAwakening By: Melissa Curtin

Mexico means bellybutton of the moon and Tulum was presumably once called Zama meaning ‘dawn’ in reference to its position facing east across the sea. So, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised when I awoke to watch 7 out of 9 sunrises during my time here when I have never been a morning person. The Mexican Utopia on the Yucatan Peninsula can stir that desire of rising with the daylight and going to bed with the setting sun, especially when the bold stars and romantic candlelight are your only nighttime guides. The world calms down in Tulum and for a city girl like me, I secretly crave this stillness.




For the last year my social media feed has been clogged with photos of Tulum and that is how I decided this was a place I needed to visit. Little did I know it would far exceed my expectations. Arriving at night, our two hour drive south from Cancun brought us to a narrow road with liquid darkness where cars only had a few inches for oncoming vehicles, bicyclists and walkers. Just ten years ago, not much had existed in this free spirited beach strip, but today people from all over the world have discovered what makes this destination truly special. The area is not only steeped in Mayan history, Mayan ruins and backed up to a carved out jungle, but Tulum offers miles of picture perfect beaches on the Caribbean Sea

"especially when the bold stars and romantic candlelight are your only nighttime guides" and the low key Bohemian vibes. Relish in a boutique hotel that feels so unique and personal, your room feels like your own self-contained resort. Welcome to Tulum, where simplicity and nature are the new luxury. with silky sand and aquamarine water. Yoga classes are offered at most hotels and no pollution offers a dazzling nighttime sky. Rustic boutique hotels run on generators and solar power. Toilet paper is thrown in the trash and Potable Aqua trucks can be seen often bringing drinkable water for restaurants and hotels. But what makes Tulum like nowhere else I've ever visited is the feeling. Hotels are typically less than twenty rooms and the inspiring architectural and design styles blend with the scenery

STAY NEST is a place I could not have imagined. The relaxed ambiance of the nine room property feels like your own private nest. The rooms, or should we say villas are like your home, not a hotel. When you arrive at night, you may miss the location because the sign is so small, but you know you have 'arrived' with the tiny reception hut glowing to greet you. Situated on the southern end of Tulum, you are walking distance to many fantastic restaurants as well as the popular trendy hotels Be Tulum and Nomade.



Our two bedroom top floor garden suite, which was more like an apartment, was styled in a rustic chic minimalist way with numerous hammocks indoor and out, a concrete floor with throw rugs (perfect for barefoot sandy feet), and a massive stone-like tub with rain shower and glorious bath amenities we later found sold in town. The decor fits the environment with furniture and dangling woven lamp fixtures sourced from local artisans thanks to music industry veteran James Chippendale who designed the entire property with love and careful attention to detail. Even woodworkers outside Cobá made most of the wood pieces. The property includes two ocean view lofts, two rooms with partial ocean views, two unique tower rooms with access to a circular deck with views and several garden rooms. The common area called the Living Room is situated beneath the palms and sits on a pristine beachfront with inviting lounge areas where we enjoyed Mezcal drinks at the tiny bar and looked forward daily to the made-to-order complimentary breakfast including a huge fruit yogurt granola bowl, eggs of our choice, fresh juice, coffee and probiotic drinks. Even if you are not staying on the ocean, you are just steps away from your own private beach Zen without crowds or annoying loud music. Dreamy beach beds await you to keep you cool in the shade and lunch or drinks can be delivered at all times to ensure beach bliss. We appreciated the friendly service catering to our every whim along with the use of free bikes to get around town and complimentary guest happy hour each day; this property offers everything one could need

for the perfect getaway. Head south about ten minutes and swim out to snorkel with no one in site for miles. Torches in the sand guide your way at night through the leafy palms making it feel primal. The intimacy of the Nest makes it the best. Trust me, you will never want to leave. LATM Tip: Nest is a referral-only guesthouse but inquiries can be made by email: EXPLORE For the adventurous, there are more than 5,000 freshwater cenotes (650 open to the public) to explore and although Sac Actun came highly recommended due to less crowds, we crawled down into the private Muul Ich. This cavernous closed cenote provides only a dangling light to swim inside its sinkhole with glacier water, bats, limestone stalactites and catfish. Our extremely informative and welleducated guide Alberto Cuellar with Azulik Hotels Mystikal Wanders program was the only reason we found this private cenote. He later took us to another private cenote nearby with climbing dripping trees that busted through the limestone rock to get to the water. Nature is wild! This place half underground felt spiritual and to my surprise, people even get married here. One of the major highlights of our trip was climbing Coba and if it wasn’t for Alberto we would have never found the place, let alone learned a plethora of knowledge about the area and Mayan history related to the ruins. By bike we pedaled through the jungle to climb the tallest pyramid in the Mayan world, Coba. Terrified of heights, crawling up Coba’s steep jagged rocks at sunset was breathtaking, elevating us high over the jungle with an ethereal glow, and not a tourist in site! Sian Ka’an Biosphere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (1.3 million acre nature reserve) is just a short drive away from Tulum’s hotels. Informative Alberto Mena with Mexico Kan Tours picked us up at our hotel for a half day tour and enlightened us with Mayan history. From the archeological site of Muyil, an ancient Mayan trading post, we crossed two lagoons by boat to float for about 30 minutes through a crystal clear canal the Maya people dug thousands of years ago surrounded by mangroves, orchids, bromeliads and cacti.




destinations Don’t miss taking a short cab ride to the Tulum Mayan ruins, a walled city set atop a cliff by the Caribbean Sea where we shared a powerful sunset with iguanas. Sunrise is apparently the best time to visit with a post dip in the ocean, but there were little visitors at sunset, and the sun glow against the ancient ruins mesmerized us. Also, there are countless areas in Tulum to snorkel right off the beach to view brightly colored tropical fish, and kite surfing is popular too with the strong winds. DINE AND UNWIND The global cuisine in Tulum blends traditional Mexican fare with Caribbean fresh seafood along with modern approaches thanks to the culinary creatives flocking to the area. Many Italians and French now live in Tulum bringing of course their stellar cuisine. Don’t miss a day or night on the beach at the Italian rustic restaurant Posada Margherita for pasta, burrata, langoustine, wine, and a cool ambiance. An affordable and fun spot to eat tacos with your feet in the sand under the stars is Taqueria La Eufemia located right on the beach. This was my favorite place for dollar shrimp and fish tacos, and I would have eaten here every day if I could. Near the hotel Papaya Playa Project, we discovered a taco truck with hip outdoor jungle seating called Charly’s Vegan Tacos.

Their mango quac and taco trio will alter your mind about veganism. For an expensive meal, munch on squid and sardines at Arca, or sip tres expensive Mezcal cocktails at La Suerte Del Coyote. The hotel Mezzanine is a romantic spot on a blustery cliff to dine or unwind, as well as the mod hotel Mi Amor close by. Be Tulum and Nomade offer a hot and hip scene. We stumbled upon the grand opening of Ocumare at Be Tulum, the first Michelin star restaurant offering a shared dining experience featuring Indian, Moroccan, Argentinian and Spanish cuisine paired with the best seasonal and local produce. Book your reservation months in advance or grease the door guy to try to score a reservation at super popular Hartwood, with a Brooklynite chef. Mateo’s is the best place to watch the sunset with their tower deck, although our hotel at El Pez had a secret top deck. Highly talked about Gitano, Casa Banana, and Casa Jaguar are all on our list for next time. In town (the city) you can get better deals on souvenirs, like honey from the melipona bees, hammocks, dream catchers, and Mexican style dresses or tops. The best shop for gorgeous leather crafted shoes is AVF Artesanos. Find shop owner Armando Valdovinos Figueroa and tell him I sent you or see their selection on Instagram at @avf_artesanos. I left with pink and black stylish shoes with tassels perfect for a casual or dressed up look.






Senegal Waw Peanut Stew, Pirogues and By: Urban Nilmander Photography: Carin Tegner



ot, dusty, chaotic, no directly interesting sights, annoying hustlers, broken sidewalks and traffic infarcts every day. The face of Senegal is all about the people. Open, smiling, generous people, an explosion of colors, fantastic food and a music scene among the best in the world. Magical and tough at the same time. We sit with a couple of Flag (local beers) on the terrace of the fairy-tale Hotel Sokhamon in Dakar watching the sun go down. A cool breeze blows in from the sea, while an airplane descends for landing nearby. In the background you can hear the Pape Dioufs hit song Casse Casse. This is the first day of a tumultuous month in Senegal. Dakar´s beauty, a city that pours out of the Cap Vert peninsula in a jumble of villages and former French colonial societies, has nothing to do with its architecture. From the air, the capital looks like a metropolis on the move. Cars speed along a four-lane highway down the rugged coastline. Cranes dot the seaside, building luxury hotels and conference centers. On the ground jobless young men line the new highways, trying to make a living by selling phone cards, cashews and Chinese-made calculators. Streets and squares come alive with people dressed in explosions of strong, bright colors in an endless variety of patterns. Hip-hoppers with cool gold-shaded sunglasses, executives in long white robes and Rastafarians in long dreadlocks align the streets. Everything fits, and everything allows. The beauty of Dakar merges entirely with the city's residents and the atmosphere they create. Swedish Teresa, now a local has lived and worked in Dakar for two years. “The most important thing I have learned is that it is not dangerous to communicate with someone you do not know. Senegalese are welcoming, hospitable, smiling and open,” she says. And hanging over everything in this 2-million populated city is pulsating Senegalese music on the highest volume. On the weekends the music pounds out all-night in an almost infinite number of music venues and nightclubs. Tourism is not really on the agenda in Senegal. One will notice immediately from the first meeting with the taxi-drivers at the airport trying to quadruple the price, to the multitude of hustlers around Place de Independence who work every trick in the book to lure in tourists.

But hey, this is Africa. It's the organized chaos that is the very reason to travel 6000 km south. Or is it the weather? Many people are here for the music. Senegal in general and particularly Dakar vibrates with music. Heavy, throbbing mbalax (pop music with traditional roots, marketed to the world by Youssou Ndour), really good rap, reggae, salsa, samba and jazz. For those who want a musical experience beyond the expected go to the djembe festival in Ábene in southern Senegal. A combination of eight days around the Christmas holiday with drums, dancing, and various known and unknown artists situated in a small village by the sea. I sit and talk about life in Senegal with my friends Abdou and Djibril in Dakar. Abdou has returned after many years in England, and believes that certain things have been difficult to return to. “Senegal is a wait-culture. Everything takes a long time and it's been hard for me to adjust to,” he says. Djibril has studied philosophy and is now working in three different hotels in Dakar. “I want more people to come here, but then we have to get better at taking care of the tourists,” he explains. It's all about expectations. I had never put my foot in Senegal before and had significantly lower expectations, I thought chaos would be much harder. And if tourism is not on the agenda, generosity is. Again and again we were invited to share a meal on the large barrels Senegalese use to eat together. Just as often, we were helped to find an address by someone who walked with us through half Dakar, without wanting to be paid. Sure, it's poor and injustice is blatant. But Senegal is a stable democracy and does not showcase misery that can be seen in other parts of Africa. Most people are friendly, curious and generous. One day in Dakar walking along the beachfront, Le Corniche, we ran into an art exhibition with the art group Tangalmenthe. Walking around looking at art, sculptures, furniture made of used washing machines, handmade fabrics a voice called out. “Hey, are you hungry? We are having lunch, please join us.” We gathered around a big plate on the ground together with 65

the artists eating a lovely mafe, a meat stew with delicious peanut butter sauce and hot chili. Two other visitors also join in. “We have just taken over this spot by the ocean. We´ll see if we can afford to keep it as an art exhibition place,” laughs designer Gaelle kCiss. Generosity again. Nobody cares if you buy anything here, just that you enjoy yourself and have fun. And of course, eat when you´re invited. If you´re in to beach life Senegal is the place to be. If you look around, you´ll find that almost lost hippie and backpacker feeling. Sure, you have to put up with bunches of curious children and a Rastafarian here and there who calls "Where you from?" But other than the mini interruptions you can enjoy the miles and miles of golden sandy beaches which are more than a fair trade. A small piece of Saly in the middle and Cap Skiring to the south, with direct flights from Europe, that's all. The tourism that has emerged lately is more about the extravagant nature of the deltas and mangrove areas. An organization named Cauris offers trips that include working simple jobs in a small village, painting a schoolhouse or putting up fences. The village makes the food and provides a place to sleep.




In the last election, the National legend, musician Youssou N'Dour became the Minister of Tourism. But recently, he stepped down and is now a political adviser to the Prime Minister. A beautiful trip from the chaos of Dakar is of course Ile de Gorée. A car-free, green island half an hour away that has recently become World Heritage Village and the old colonial houses are now being renovated. A few days later, we took a large passenger boat from Dakar to Ziguinchor in the Casamance province. 16 hours south along the mangrove-filled, flat coast and through the long river full of leaping dolphins to the dusty provincial capital. Without knowing it, one of the country's most famous musicians, Baaba Maal, was performing at the Franco-Senegalese Cultural Institute (found in each town, which always have interesting exhibits and good music). We were supposed to travel further north but this could not be missed. Sometime at 2 o'clock in the morning, the concert ends. Two hours of traditional music with roots in northern Senegal and then suddenly, the blue-eyed Baaba Maal throws his shoes,

destinations his scarf, opens his shirt, and stands up. In the background, two guitarists move in. The volume and the tempo increases by 200 percent. The audience rises from their seats, and one by one they jump up on-stage and dance with the band and Baaba Maal. Three weeks later, after a dozen concerts, we have learned two things. One is that anyone who appreciates a musician rushes forward and throw a little money note in front of the artist or in the guitar's hole. Number two, nothing is really good until as many as possible in the audience are up on-stage. The constant sounding

The road consists of more potholes than asphalt and eventually it becomes red swirling dust. It is somewhere here that it becomes more understandable why some people down here wanted independence. The former prime minister put it all on Dakar, new roads, tunnels and a new airport, a new motorway from the city and a general upgrading of the capital. The infrastructure in the rest of the country and especially in Casamance was left outside. Now everybody hopes the new Prime Minister Macky Sall will fulfill his election promises and go for the other provinces. We end up in Kafountine, a small fishing village where tourism consists of a few hotels; the visitors are a mix of beach hippies, birdwatchers and participants in drum and dance classes. All around in the jungle-like areas down to the beach djembe drums sound from morning to night.

Waw, waw, waw, does not mean that something is awesome just yes, yes, yes. A few years ago tourists warned to travel to the province of Casamance. The reason was fighting between rebels and the army. Rebels who wanted to make the province independent. Today it is quiet even though the presence of soldiers is obvious along the dusty roads. Always carry your passport or a copy of it. But my friend Pape, born in Casamance, dismisses any talk about independence. “How would that happen? We need one Senegal to develop. Those who call themselves rebels are bandits who want to rob for money.” Either way, it is now calm in the area, domestic flights from Dakar to Ziguinchor have increased from one day a week to four and the flow of tourists to West Africa's most beautiful beach in Cap Skiring increases. We choose to travel north instead towards Gambia. Two hours with a loud and dusty taxi through overwhelming greenery and paths lined by giant baobab trees. Here and there you can see the colorful boats called pirogues. An unlikely beautiful excursion is to rent a boat with owner and cruise into the mangrove silence.

Here comes the next lesson. The house we live in has a constant flow of people. They sit down and talk for hours, get little Attaya, strong tea, and move on. Replaced by new visitors, more talk more tea, etc. Visits run from early morning to late evening. “This is Africa. It is important to sit down and talk, all become part of the same family. You cannot say no to a visitor,” says my friend Pape. At the same time, he sees the problems. “It happens too little. Too many people are content to sit and talk all day. We need more people who dare to invest,” he says. Maybe so. Perhaps new technologies become a shortcut. Senegalese, like many other Africans, jumped a long chain of technological development and went straight into the future. Each Senegalese has at least one cell phone and it´s more than usual to see young people with computers and IPads on their knees. The clash when you see a young woman sitting on the ground cooking as people has always done, then get up and answer on her cuttingedge Smartphone becomes almost comical. Back in Dakar there are more concerts. The last night before an early morning flight, we hear Pape Cheikh at the legendary club Just4you. A magical ending to a magical month. Waw. Or Wow.




It seems like everyone these days is posting themselves on social media in some fancy colorful dress in Havana, Cuba perfectly sweat-free and even in heals. After spending time in Cuba this seems almost outrageous, and not really a good reason to venture to the “Pearl of the Antilles”. Perhaps people want to bring back the Golden Age of Havana, but the city feels more like a dystopia, raw, gritty, and timeworn, although surprisingly safe. Perhaps it was my first three nights in Centro Habana, but closed toed comfy shoes seemed like the only sensible option on the city streets.





After spending time at three different Cuban homes (casa particulares), the reason to visit Cuba is to get to know the people and the culture. Americans, curious and fascinated, head to Cuba to see a country that has remained unchanged with its squeaky preserved 50’s cars, lack of internet, crumbling buildings, devastating or maybe not so devastating effects of a crippling dictatorship and long time embargo. But Cuba is not a museum and the people deserve a future, one where they can own an iPhone and work at a job they enjoy for more than $20 a month. Now that Americans can travel freely to Cuba, plan your trip carefully in this dilapidated and dignified city. Tourism is booming, expensive not-sogreat hotels are full, and AirBnB is now providing rental options. Paladares or family run restaurants are popping up with locally sourced ingredients changing the dilemma that all one can find to eat is rice and beans.

How does one prepare for a trip to Cuba? Rest up before your trip because the country may leave you maddeningly exhausted. Old beds and busted cars will break your back and leave you sleepless. The transportation or streets alone can make you sick or sore, from potholes, fumes and dust. Skip the shared taxis called collectivos and take the Viazul bus for long distances. The Viazul is an air conditioned bus we later learned was cheaper and more comfortable, about $12 from Havana to Viazul. Show up early and more than likely there will be a seat for purchase. We made the mistake of taking a collectivo from Havana to Vinales, as well as from Vinales to the beach tip Cayo Jutias near Santa Lucia. The lady we were staying with called and booked it for us so we didn’t think twice. After feeling a bit sick the night before, taking a crumbling stuck together by a thread automobile with 4 other couples squished in back jolting over potholes


destinations may be charming and feel authentic at first, but for over two hours with fumes and dust twirling in your hair and lungs (and no bathroom in sight), it is not glamorous to say the least. Download the App Maps.Me (MapswithMe) and remember to download the map of Cuba before you leave. Since you won’t have WIFI, we could map each place we researched ahead of time (including restaurants and bars) and flag them on the map even while in Cuba. This was so helpful when exploring areas on foot for hours. Since internet is impossible, except for at a couple hotels ($7 for 20 minutes), research ahead of time everywhere you want to go, especially the paladares, restaurants with great cuisine that are really for the tourists. Most Cuban people can’t afford to eat at these locales but you will want a break from the grit to eat a good meal at a decent restaurant. Download the offline translator App called Translate before you leave or it will not work in Cuba, in case you need to converse or ask a question in Spanish, it will translate English into Spanish and speak it aloud from your phone. Book the first few nights and your last night before leaving to save yourself the pressure of finding somewhere to stay, especially if you come in at night. Make sure to print everything out (like the addresses and phone numbers) or write it down since you won’t be able to access emails. It may take awhile to get an email response since the Cuban people have to go to a shared Wi-Fi park to get internet or rely on someone from the states to make the connection. I highly recommend using AirBnB to book a room, otherwise known as a Casa Particular. The rooms are often $25 to $35 a night and many other people may be staying in the other rooms in the home. A big breakfast with eggs, fruit, coffee, and fruit shakes are cooked for you for $5 per person. If you desperately need WiFi, we saw one apartment pop up in Havana that had internet since it was owned by a diplomat. Since you can’t use ATM’s or credit card machines and a 10 percent surcharge is typically applied to U.S. dollars at the exchange counter, convert your dollars to euros before you go, and when you get to




the airport, convert your euros to CUC’s, the Cuban money really just for tourists. Cuban people use Cuban pesos, their own money system. 25 Cuban pesos equal one CUC. Take an extra $1000 in cash on top of your budget or an extra $100 a day, just to be safe. Read ahead to find what it costs to get to and from places, if you plan to travel to the beach areas of Veradero, or other places like Vinales, Trinidad, Cien Fuegos, etc. For example, before I left I read up on the amount it would cost to take a taxi from the airport to the city where we were staying. I learned we should not pay anymore than 20-25 CUC total (about $20). Get the correct travel visa card. Ours cost $85 each on although the rest of world pays about $15. Check to see if this special travel card with health insurance comes with your plane ticket. There are many check boxes to explain why you are going to Cuba. We said we were going for the Cuban people. Bring plenty of probiotic pills, sunscreen, extra contacts, toilet paper, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues, band-aids and a good hat. All will be impossible to find, unless you want to pay a hefty price. When you are sick and bathrooms are so basic, you will be so happy you have wet wipes and toilet paper. I made it to day 4 without getting sick. Also, bring a good backup battery, especially if you’re using your phone as your camera. Select small gifts for the people to leave behind as thanks. We learned how badly they wanted T-shirts with rock bands, music and movies on flash drives, cool sneakers (they can be used), beauty supplies, and just every day items. Getting rid of items as you go lightens your load and will put a smile on someone’s face. Toss old Tshirts and socks or leave them for the Cuban people. Bring tiny toiletries (soap, shampoo, disposable toothbrushes) because many Casas will not have them, and you can leave them behind or toss them out as you use them. The best clothing decision I made was to bring one warm wrap shawl that I ended up using every single night because at night the temperatures drop. I could easily fold the

thin shawl and stick it in my backpack for the daytime. Research types of souvenirs you may want to bring back – cigars, rum, coffee, honey. A lot of what we purchased could be bought in the airport after security, we were not thrilled when we learned we had overpaid for sweet and dry rum in Vinales. Pack light and make sure to include one comfortable pair of sneakers and flip flops (for the bathrooms, or if you decide to venture to the beach). We regret not bringing a good hat, like baseball cap to protect us from the sun since we assumed it would be easy to buy a cool Cuban hat. No such luck! Pack a carry-on, especially if you don’t want to wait hours for your luggage or never receive your luggage. These were the stories we heard from friends in LA. However, we had no issues, but realized it would have made no sense to carry bigger luggage especially with all of the moving around we were doing. Budget several hours ahead of time for your return flight, especially if you need to exchange your money back to dollars. Stuff extra plastic bags in your suitcase to wrap dirty shoes or store dirty clothes because they will be hard to come by once in Cuba. Buy snacks and water in the airport before leaving so you have some treats and water on you the first few days because even those can be hard to find. If you are not use to traveling outside your comfort zone, then a tour may be a better option. Keep an open, compassionate mind. Cuba has an almost 100% literacy rate. We stayed with two men, one a former banker and the other a former meteorologist. Both made $20 or less a month until they started renting out their 3 rooms. We spent time with a 35 year old guy trained as a Navy captain, but since Cuba doesn’t have a boat, he works 18 hours a day in a food factory where he makes $20 a month as well. A 25 year old girl and her mom housed us in Vinales. Their two rooms are solidly booked (thanks to AirBnB), so they are building a third room. A high level of education doesn’t mean you earn more money, but we constantly saw the desire to work, make more money, and enjoy music and movies from the states (often sent to Cubans on flash drives).


Enjoy the rich culture of Cuba by being prepared; just remember to leave your expectations at home and pack accordingly.



From TV to the Las Vegas Strip, Giada De Laurentiis is known for her endearing personality and stellar skills in the kitchen.

CELEBRITY CHEF Giada De Laurentiis From growing up in Rome to living in LA, this former caterer turned mega foodie sensation has solidified her footprint on the culinary scene. Known for her hit show Everyday Italian, the beautiful and talented Chef seems to be the queen of balance and we just love that about her. When she's not overseeing her restaurant division or cooking for national




audiences you can find her enjoying the beach with her daughter and their new pup Bruno, doing yoga, or grabbing a cocktail at Wally's in LA. We sat down with the infamous TV personality to pick her brain on all things travel and the real reason why a visit to her restaurant is a must when visiting Sin City.

#TravelSquad LATM: Where was your first trip abroad and what was that like? G: I grew up outside of Rome, so the first trip we took together as a family was to the Dominican Republic. My grandparents had a house in Santo Domingo and I remember the locals being the warmest, kindest people. My grandfather never went anywhere without bringing his own pasta and olive oil; he would teach the locals how to cook pasta and pizza, then we would all sit at these big, long tables for these dinners that lasted for hours. I loved it! LATM: Is there a destination you are dying to visit? Name 3 destinations or activities that are still on your bucket list. G: Japan, Antarctica and the moon. LATM: Tell us, what is your ideal vacation? G: Hanging with Jade either on the beach or with my family in Rome. LATM: Why did you decide to become a chef? G: I became a chef because I realized at the age of 12 that I enjoyed hanging out at my grandfather’s food emporium. I watched all the customers come in with amazement and awe of the scents, tastes and visuals that they saw there and I wanted to wow people in that same way. So later in life I ended up going to culinary school in Paris. I also just really love food – I love being around food, I dream about food, and I love sharing it with other people. LATM: What is the biggest pet peeve you have in the kitchen? G: Tomato sauce cooked in a cast iron. LATM: Who is your biggest influence? G: My travels and my fans. LATM: Where does your culinary inspiration come from? G: My grandfather, my mom and my aunt. I’ve always thought that I’m a combination of those three people. Though my Aunt Raffy & I don’t always agree on how to cook certain dishes, she always pushes me to try things a new way, and a lot of the time, it turns out really good!

LATM: What is your favorite thing to do when you have time off? G: Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment…. I like to do yoga, have family over for a meal or hang with Jade and our new pup, Bruno. LATM: Share with us some of your favorite places in LA: Best Hotel: Hotel Bel-Air Best Restaurant: Capo Favorite thing to do: Visit the Griffith Observatory Best Place to Grab a Cocktail: Wally’s LATM: Share with us some of your favorite places in Las Vegas: Best Restaurant: Giada… but I’m biased. Best Activity: Race car driving Best Place to Grab a Cocktail: The Cosmo or Ecco and Rib if you venture off the strip. LATM: What can we find in your carry-on? G: I always have a Ziploc bag of unsalted raw almonds, a scarf in case it gets cold, Vitamin C packets, Jasmine or Gardenia essential oil to dab on after the flight, and one too many lip glosses! LATM: What is your most memorable travel experience (good or bad)? G: Taking Jade to Paris for the first time. We were only there for 24 hours but it was just enough time to grab a croissant at my favorite bakery, Poilane. LATM: If you could splurge on any food in the world, what would it be? G: Chocolate! Chocolate anything… I’d bathe in it if I could. LATM: Why should readers visit your restaurant? G: In my opinion, it has the best combo…. the best view, the best service and the best food, and that trio is magic.






From Dancing with the Stars to sharing her fitness and beauty secrets with her fans on her new blog ( Witney Carson is taking the world by storm. This 23 year old blonde bombshell has been dancing her way into the hearts of viewers across the globe from the young age of 18 when she was second runner up on “So you think you can Dance�. From gracing the stage with celebrities to family time with her husband Carson and pup Roxy, Witney always finds a way to balance her extremely busy schedule and ensure she has time to travel the globe. From Hong Kong to Hawaii, Cancun and back Witney gives us her inside secrets on how she manages to live a lifestyle filled with beauty, passion, love and of course our favorite subject, Travel!


Photography by: Cory Osborne Location: Waiea at Ward Village, Honolulu, The Dress: Walter Mendez, Jewelry: Sambac by Ivan Bitton Shoes: AMI Clubwear Styled by: Veronica Baca MUAH: Sheila Harris 75

"My first trip abroad was in Hong Kong, China. My team and I were invited to perform in the Chinese New Year Parade! It was an experience like none other! I remember being completely immersed in the culture and loving everything I was experiencing. From the people, the food and the city itself. Everything was so spectacular!" -Witney Carson





Photography by: Cory Osborne Location: Waiea at Ward Village, Honolulu, The Dress: Nicole Bakti, Jewelry: Sambac by Ivan Bitton Styled By: Veronica Baca MUAH: Sheila Harris

"I'm dying to go to Thailand and Europe. I want to go see the Eiffel Tower, drink tea and eat as many pastries as possible! I want to experience the culture and history in Italy, especially Rome; it looks incredible!" -Witney Carson


Photography by: Cory Osborne Location: Waiea at Ward Village, Honolulu, The Dress: Walter Mendez, Jewelry: Sambac by Ivan Bitton Shoes: AMI Clubwear Styled by: Veronica Baca MUAH: Sheila Harris


"My favorite thing to do is travel! My husband and I love exploring new places and experiencing new cultures. We are somewhat of adventure seekers and big foodies so restaurants are very important! We love Umami Burger, Toast, Fratelli Cafe and Mercado if we are feeling Mexican food. Our favorite thing to do around the city is go to The Grove with our puppy, walk around, shop and see a movie! After, we always go to Pressed Juicery for a healthy desert, the vanilla freeze!" -Witney Carson


Photography by: Cory Osborne Location: Waiea at Ward Village, Honolulu, The Dress: Sky, Jewelry: Jewelry Bar USA Styled by: Veronica Baca MUAH: Sheila Harris





Photography by: Cory Osborne Location: IBM Building at Ward Village The Dress: Walter Mendez, Styled by: Veronica Baca MUAH: Sheila Harris


unique island getaways Overwater bungalows. Colorful reefs. Turquoise water. Extreme adventures. There is a lot to love about an island escape. Here are a few spots to help narrow down your perfect travel destination, from the laid-back luxury of Corsica to the jaw-dropping views of Tasmania. What all of these unique islands have in common is a transcendent beauty and an ability to coax any traveler into a state of bliss.

Palau, Micronesia With a whopping 250 plus islands in its chain Palau has been attracting the savviest of travelers over the past few decades. After its world wide exposure be being featured on the TV series “Survivor� this Micronesian gem has been visited by dedicated scuba divers as well as travelers that are always seeking the next best thing. With some of the most secluded white, sandy beaches, virtually untouched marine eco- systems and it's extraordinary array of natural wonders Palau is quickly becoming to the top of the list for the most serious travel experts. Palau is best known for its diving as its crystal clear waters are filled with WWII wrecks which have now become home to a vast array of marine life and vibrant corals.

Gozo Island, Malta Gozo is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, one of 21 that make up the Maltese archipelago. Inhabited for thousands of years, it shows evidence of historic immigration and rule by the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Sicilians, French and British, among others. It’s known for its Neolithic Ġgantija Temple ruins, rural hiking paths, beaches and scuba-diving sites. The charm of Malta's sister Island is immediately apparent; it's greener, more rural and smaller, with life's rhythms dictated by the seasons, fishing and agriculture. Steeped in myth, Gozo is thought to be the legendary Calypso's isle of Homer's Odyssey - a peaceful, mystical backwater. Baroque churches and old stone farmhouses dot the countryside. Gozo's rugged landscape and spectacular coastline await exploration with some of the Mediterranean's best dive sites. The island also comes complete with historical sites, forts and amazing panoramas, as well as one of the archipelago's best-preserved prehistoric temples, Ġgantija. Gozo also possesses a nightlife and cultural calendar all of its own, with some great dining options.




Borneo If you haven’t heard much about Borneo, don't feel bad many travelers haven't either. The surprising thing about this is Borneo is the third largest island in the world and the largest island in Asia. Covering three countries in one island, Malaysia, Indonesia and tiny Brunei Borneo is home to some amazing biodiversity to say the least. A wide range of wildlife and incredible flora travelers will get more than they bargained for with a trip to Borneo. From ancient forests filled with mysterious cultures to encounters with massive orangutans and world class dive sites Borneo should be at the top of your list of must visit islands for sure!


Tasmania, Australia When most people hear the word Tasmania the first thing they probably think of is the Looney Tunes crazy character “The Tasmanian Devil”. Yes don't worry Tasmania really does harbor these rare little animals! Known as Australia’s wild frontier island Tasmania is a very well protected piece of beautiful land with 40 percent being national parkland for travelers to fully enjoy. From stunning wine regions to some of the best beaches in the world Tasmania is an ideal place to become one with nature while taking a step off the beaten path.




Corsica, France This Mediterranean gem is known as the “Island of Beauty� and we sure see why. This mountainous French island truly does offer something for everyone as it has a vast array of diversity within its topography. From snow capped mountains to the white sandy beaches of its rugged coastline Corsica attracts all types of European travelers; from those looking to challenge themselves to tackle the 15 day long GR 20 hiking trail to travelers who just want to swim in the clear aquamarine waters of the amazing coast Corsica is a place to add to your bucket list for sure!


SKIP THE FLIGHT: Escape within SoCal Southern California is among the most visited vacation destinations in the world for obvious reasons; warm sunny days, white sandy beaches as far as the eye can see, world renowned theme parks, award winning wine country and much more! Luckily SoCal locals don't need to travel very far for the perfect getaway, sometimes only an hour or two drive is all you need to escape the hustle and bustle of the work week!




socal retreats

La Jolla

Resting along the dramatic jagged coastline, La Jolla is a true coastal gem with its scenic views and small town feel that gives it true character. Comprised of luxury boutique hotels, art galleries, shopping and award winning restaurants La Jolla has been said to rival any Coastal city from San Diego all the way to San Francisco! With its front door lying right on the Pacific and back door at the steep slopes of Mt. Soledad, it is surrounded by natural beauty every direction you look. Take a walk through downtown and you will instantly see the casual yet upscale vibe that envelops the area. Locals spend their time sidewalk dining, carousing through the many unique shops, museums and art galleries or hitting the beach for one of the many activities offered. An abundance of activities and upscale village lifestyle ensure that it lives up to its nickname as "The Jewel" of San Diego. Home to the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course and The Lodge at Torrey Pines, the scenic cliff area offers well-groomed hiking trails with spectacular views and world-class golf. At Torrey Pines Gliderport, you can soar out over the beach cliffs on a hang glider or just relax and watch the action above. Along the dramatic coastline lies Scripps Park, where families can picnic throughout the summer, while enjoying Fourth of July fireworks and concerts under the stars. Just south of the park is the Children’s Pool, where a seawall was originally built to protect kids from incoming waves, but has been long taken over by a local seal colony. People are no longer permitted to swim here, but you can walk out along the seawall for a close-up view of the wildlife. La Jolla is also home to Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography and plenty of cultural attractions including the La Jolla Playhouse and the Museum of Contemporary Art, all situated in close proximity to The Village. 87

socal retreats

San Clemente

One of the cleanest, most scenic beach cities in Orange County, San Clemente has floated to the top amongst top beach cities to visit in Southern California. Known for its deep heritage and beach city traditions, locals hold their town very close to their heart which is more than evident for visitors seeing San Clemente for the very first time. Although a small town, San Clemente proudly hails as one of SoCal's best beach cities because of its many offerings. Visiting the beaches is among the top things to do while visiting the area as locals take pride in their white powdery sands and all that happens on and around it. A surfer's paradise, the area is famous for its beaches and breaks. If surfing is not your cup of tea, head over to State Beach which is great for swimming, body boarding or just soaking up the California sunshine! Deemed as the “Spanish Village by the Sea� San Clemente has long been just that with its white stucco adobes and red tile roofs that line the curvy streets taking you back with some true California history. Situated right next to the Pacific Ocean, San Clemente is the ideal beach town with a long list of coastal restaurants offering up some of California's finest seafood served with local wines from the area as well as fresh produce from nearby farms. All this and more makes San Clemente a must visit on your next weekend getaway!




socal retreats

Los Olivos

A short 45 minute drive from Santa Barbara lies the quaint town of Los Olivos; a wine aficionado’s dream come true. Los Olivos has been an ideal day trip for wine lovers for many reasons. Don't take out word for it go see for yourself, the downtown area of Los Olivos is filled with tasting rooms from local wineries which creates a gorgeous back drop for a wine soaked daycation! Stroll through downtown Los Olivio and get the full experience of rich California history mixed with modern day wine tasting at its best! Make sure you don't forget your camera when paying a visit to the area; surrounded by vineyards, lavender farms, fruit orchards and horse ranches you are guaranteed to take some award winning pics. A true one stop wine country experience, Los Olivos leaves you no reason to leave the area once you arrive. Over 30 tasting rooms within a 5 block area will provide more wine than you can handle, plenty of farm to table dining options from casual cafes to gourmet restaurants and plenty of shopping, music festivals and more! One of our favorite tasting rooms is Saarloos and Sons which is the only tasting room we have ever been to where they pair their wine with cupcakes. Yes you heard it right; imagine flavors like Chocolate Blackberry Syrah, Lemon Lavender or Honey White Peach Chardonnay. Is your mouth watering yet? How many more reasons do you need to take a trip to Los Olivos now?


SPRING BREAK GUIDE From the white sandy beaches of Mexico to the almighty strip of Las Vegas these 5 Spring Break Hangouts are among the most visited spots in the world for travelers from near and far!

spring break


One of the new kids on the block Austin, Texas has suddenly emerged as one of the top spots in the US for people to flock to and for good reason. Warm spring temperatures, bustling nightly live music, massive music festivals and a phenomenal food truck scene make Austin one of the most visited cities in the country. Downtown’s Six Street attracts people by the droves for incredible restaurants and bars that rival any city. With a title such as “Live Music Capital of the World” and a reputation as being a giant outdoor playground this makes Austin the perfect Spring Break retreat!


spring break

cabo san lucas

At the southern tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas has been a fan favorite for decades shining as one of the country's top destinations. Cheap airfares (only a few hours from Los Angeles), a lively party scene, white sandy beaches and a plethora of all inclusive resorts has made Cabo a mainstay for Spring Breakers from all over the world. Luxury resorts dot the beaches as far as the eye can see making Cabo San Lucas the perfect escape whether it be for golfing, shopping, activities and dining or just a good ol party trip with the best of friends!




spring break

las vegas

As classic a getaway as they come Las Vegas didn't get the two nicknames “Sin City” or “Lost Wages” for no reason. One of the most visited cities in the world people have been traveling here from all parts of the globe for the ultimate escape. Change your name; give yourself a new job title, whoever you want to be Las Vegas is the perfect place to leave it all on the table! The city is chock filled with majestic hotels that are host to incredible nightly entertainment, electric pool parties, nightclubs and a vast array of top notch restaurants. There really isn't anything you can’t find in Sin City; from world class golf courses to named brand designer shopping Las Vegas has everything you could ever want in a spring break getaway.


spring break

new orleans

Arguably the number one city in the world for 24 hour partying, New Orleans has and will always be amongst the leading Spring Break retreats of all time. From the comfortable 70 degree weather all throughout the springtime to the warm inviting Louisiana culture New Orleans has all this to offer and more! From the all night parties on the world famous Bourbon Street to river cruises, historic sightseeing and decadent Creole cuisine New Orleans's southern charm keep the spring breakers coming back year after year!




spring break


Cancun with its white, powdery, sandy beaches and turquoise blue waters is one of the world’s top vacation getaways, so it comes with no surprise that it's one of the most visited spring break destinations on the globe. With miles of all inclusive beachfront hotels and nightclubs that go all throughout the evening Cancun can rival any of the world leading resort towns. Miles of postcard perfect beaches where spring breakers bask in the sun, margarita in hand and not a worry in sight make Cancun the number one pick for the ultimate Spring Break getaway!



summer in the mountains - how many hours are in a day? Short nonstop flight from LAX to SUN give more time for mountain fun

Summer in Sun Valley, Idaho is an outdoor lover’s paradise with so many activities happening, you wonder how you could fit everything into one day. The nonstop flights from Los Angeles International (LAX) to Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN), is a quick hop over to this small mountain community, where culture and the outdoor lifestyle meld together for the perfect vacation.

Stay Sun Valley Lodge The beautifully appointed Sun Valley Lodge, with the adjacent 20,000 sq. ft. Spa, was completely renovated in June 2015. The relaxing atmosphere with 108 rooms ranging from premiere kings to the Celebrity Suites, caters to the needs of each individual traveler. Perfect for families, small groups or couples just wanting to get away, the Sun Valley Lodge offers the finest in amenities, comfort and guest services. The year-round outdoor ice skating rink, spa, fitness center, outdoor heated pool and hot tub, bowling alley, Duchin Lounge and Gretchen’s restaurant are all located within or next to the Sun Valley Lodge.

Play Golfing Take advantage of the 45 holes of Championship golf, combined with relaxing and inviting accommodations. The Summer Swing golf and stay package includes lodging, a round of golf at either Trail Creek or Elkhorn (with cart), a round of golf on the 9-hole White Cloud course (must be played on the same day), and range access. Starting rates at the Sun Valley Inn are $335/night or Sun Valley Lodge are $495/night. Swing over to Sun Valley from June 10-30, 2017 to take advantage of the early-season golfing. Reservations may be made by calling 800-7868259.

Trail Creek Golf Course Sun Valley’s signature 18-hole golf course was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. in 1980. Recently recognized by Golf Digest as one of the top-75 resort courses in North America, Sun Valley’s signature 18-hole golf course provides a challenging round of golf for every level of player.

White Clouds golf course Capture a 360-degree view of the Wood River Valley when standing atop the White Clouds

golf course – Bald Mountain, Dollar Mountain, the Pioneer Mountains and the home of Ernest Hemingway. Golfers can enjoy 9-holes of contrasting play to the Trail Creek Golf Course, with more sand trap shots, side-hill lies, and blind shots.

Elkhorn Golf Club Opened in 1974 and designed by the father and son team of Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Jr. Elkhorn Golf Club offers memberships, with Sun Valley Resort guests having access to this private 18-hole golf course.

Trails, Horseback Riding, Tennis, Swimming, Ice Skating… and more Other activities include the endless number of trails for hiking, mountain biking and trail running. Guided horseback riding is available for groups or individual instruction. Tennis, trap shooting, swimming, bowling, ice skating on the outdoor rink or movies at the Sun Valley Opera House will keep everyone busy – and all within the resort or just a short distance from it.

Other notable summer pastimes in Sun Valley…. Sun Valley On Ice The Sun Valley On Ice Shows are a classic summertime favorite with guests and locals alike. A star-studded cast of regulars entertain the crowd on Saturday evenings, with National Champions, World Champions, and Olympians headlining each weekend. A robust dinner buffet is offered on the Sun Valley Lodge terrace, or bleacher seating for those wishing to just catch the show. The Sun Valley On Ice Show season opener is July 4 with shows happening most Saturday evenings throughout the summer until Labor Day weekend. Show details and tickets may be found here:

Sun Valley Summer Symphony One of the very few free summer symphonies in the United States, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony brings classical music to the mountains in the Sun Valley Pavilion. The season begins on July 24 with the In Focus series, then ends on August 17 with Verdi Requiem, the season finale in the Orchestra Festival Series.

Eat Konditorei Start the day with the hearty Cauliflower Pesto Hash or a bowl of fresh berries at the Konditorei, a favorite among guests and locals alike. Freshbaked pastries are made daily in-house, offering an abundance of indulgences after spending a day on the trails around Sun Valley. Ingredients are sourced from Idaho farms, along with locallyroasted organic and fair trade coffee in the fullservice coffee bar.

How to Get Here – Flying or Driving Nonstop flights from Alaska Airlines and Delta are offered throughout the summer and winter seasons. The latest flight schedules and specials may be found here: Hitting the road with all the gear packed is also a fun option. There are plenty of sights to see and things to do along the way. Directions to Sun Valley: LAX – SUN / SUN - LAX Alaska June 9 – Sept. 17 | Daily Delta June 17 – Aug 26 | Saturday June 18 – Aug 27 | Sunday


stick to your fitness routine while traveling with these 5 expert tips

By Shannon Decker Celebrity Trainer, Fitness Expert, Sports Model and Avid Traveler

The rapid growth of technology throughout the 21st Century has encouraged and allowed for regular travel to become a prevalent part of “normal” life. This is especially true for the worldly, on-the-go health focused population of LA; as a local personal trainer and group fitness instructor, I can attest that regular athletic training has as well. I’m talking about a large percentage of the city’s population making health and wellness a way of life, not just a passing fad or phase. All you must do is look up while driving in LA to see the many signs of this claim. In one city block alone, there can be three specialty juice spots, book ending a vegan donut joint, next door to the farm to table pop-up, with a macrobiotic lunch eatery next door, all servicing the patrons that spill out from the four different gyms nestled in between. Exercise is a slice of the organic, non-GMO, no sugar added pie that represents the LA way of life. In my profession, I get asked constantly for tips that will help my clients stick to the health and fitness routines they’ve worked so hard to establish. What I share with them are simply tricks of the trade that I’ve learned and used myself. Some of these include how I continue my exercise regimen while away on vacation or traveling for work as a fitness model. Fitness is such a personal and unique journey for each person though so I encourage you to keep soaking up and trying all that you can until you discover what ultimately works best for you. Let’s be real. Very few of us, no matter how hard we work out and no matter how healthy we eat, are going to stay as committed to our fitness routine while on vacation the same as when we are home; it’s just unrealistic, you’re on vacation! To help, I’ve chosen my top five tips that I think will best assist you to not feel like you’re starting all over when you return home; no matter how long you’ve been away.

sourcing is sexy Most likely you’re going to know your destination and the location of your accommodations in advance; then there’s this thing called the internet. Okay, okay, but seriously it’s that easy! I asked my friend and 15 year MLB veteran, Jerry Hairston, what he does to stay on his fitness routine while on the road and he gave me just one sentence, “I find the gym.” Do a search of local gyms, notice the hours, find classes. You can also research if there are bike paths and rentals where you’re heading, map out a good jogging route, and just go for it! Take the time to do your research, a little bit of planning can go a long way. Plus, when you source gyms or athletic activities, it’s a perfect way to see the area that you’re visiting. I’ve also met friends that I still have today while participating in the local athletic scene while traveling.





pack proper pieces

morning mantra Get up early?? On vacation?? I know, I get it but I promise you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to exercise in the tiny hotel gym while on vacation. What I’m suggesting is to try to get your exercise in during the first part of the day at least. As the day goes on, a workout becomes harder and harder to fit in and you naturally get more and more tired as well. If you’re on a work trip getting up early for a workout will help energize and get you focused and ready for your day. If you’re on vacation, I recommend doing a group workout with other people you’re with, finding a class on your own, or even planning a guided fitness activity. Use your travel time to try new things. Ride horses, find a local hike, take a surf lesson, play some golf or tennis, the possibilities are almost endless depending on where you are. Another friend of mine, and LA celebrity trainer, Nick Hounslow recommends eggs for breakfast and then a vigorous 30 minute weight focused HIIT circuit, before tanning by the pool.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve showed up for a trip only to discover that I’m the only one in the group that packed workout attire and shoes. That sounds crazy I know, but it’s true! This has happened while traveling with family, friends, and even other models on shoots. I like to leave home with a fitness plan, and pack what you’re going to need to execute it. When I travel I always make sure I bring running shoes and several changes of exercise clothes. That way I give myself less room for excuses. Talk about LA way of life, us women LIVE in our black yoga pants almost 24/7. So, wear them on the plane and you’ll be ready to find the hotel gym or nearest running path as soon as you arrive. Once that habit is established you can graduate into packing equipment that can be used in a hotel room or any open space. You’ve heard it before, but jump roping is the easiest, and most efficient exercise to do on the road. Here is an easy 30-minute cardio jump roping workout that I sent to one of my own clients while she was away at a work fashion trade show: 5 min. jump rope warm-up 1 min. plank 1 min. sit ups 1 min. body weight squats 1 min. alternating lunges 1 min. bicycles (opposite elbow to knee then switch.) *Repeat 3 times through

recommendations & resources If you’re anything like me, you’re quick to share information and to help anyway you can but hesitate when reaching out to a resource for your own benefit. I’ve learned that I’m only doing myself a disservice and it never hurts to just ask. If you know you’re traveling soon, don’t be shy about mentioning it here and there. It’s almost scary the way the universe works, because suddenly you’ll start talking with people that have been to where you’re going and have valuable information for you. If you’re active in the fitness scene reach out to your favorite instructors or trainers and ask if they’d be willing to email you some workouts for when you’re away. I always like knowing when my regulars are going to be gone from my classes, and I’m more than happy to equip them with some workouts while they’re away. It’s my job and doesn’t take me very much time to get someone a couple workouts that I know will help keep them on track. If you don’t have anyone you can get tailored workouts from, there are so many apps and videos available online. For myself, I like to write out a list of 8-10 moves and then use the Tabata timer app and try for 3-4 rounds. It’s easy, inexpensive, fast and most importantly efficient. For those of you that don’t even want to try to think of ANY “moves” on your own I recommend my friend, model and trainer’s new training guide, KATG, or Kick Ass Training Guide. She shows you a lot of body weight HIIT training and has 10 years of experience and knowledge behind it. You can find it at



rest & relaxation The truth of the matter is that we all go too hard most of the time. A lot of my clients get up very early to exercise, shower and change at the gym, work all day, have a social life at night, then get back up and do it all over again. Whether on a work trip or vacation an approach I also recommend and have done myself, is to use your time almost as a hectic life detox. Catch up on sleep, eat healthy, drink lots of water, go to the spa and get a massage, order room service and a movie. Get a couple easy workouts in but enjoy your down time so you can come back refreshed and ready to tackle it all again. If you’re on a work trip and you’re feeling the pressure of eating out and drinking with colleagues and/or clients once again go in with a plan and stick to it. Go to the local grocery store and buy healthy snacks for when you’re there. Set limits for dinner; one cocktail or glass of wine that you’re going to sip slow. Before you even see the menu, decide that you’re going to order a protein, and a veggie no matter what. The little things will make a big difference and will help keep you in line. You’re in control of your time, stay aware of it and use it wisely. You can still have a productive and enjoyable trip without getting derailed off your fitness habits. I always tell my classes that there is a lot that we’re not in control of in this life, but the thing we can control is ourselves; our energy, attitude and effort. Decide what your priorities are while traveling; follow through on them and make some memories!

get to know me: As a celebrity personal trainer in Los Angeles, you can find me leading group fitness classes at Speed Play LA on a roof top overlooking Beverly Hills or at the new Studio 10 in West Hollywood. I also teach indoor cycling while playing A LOT of Hip Hop. My personal travel workout go to is to jump rope, take a yoga class, play tennis, swim (preferably with whale sharks), kayak, bike my way through international destinations like Vietnam and Thailand and workout on the beach with friends.

my top 5 fitness travel accessories include: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.




Black “Adidas” Boost “Show Me Your Mumu” long black workout pants Refillable Large “Swell” marble print water bottle Speed jump rope All black no logo low socks from Six:02

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STAY COOL MY FRIENDS! Cryospot OC If you havent heard of Cryotherapy its ok you're not alone. Even though you haven't heard of it Cryotherapy has been around for a very long time. Originated in Japan in the latter half of the 1970s by Japanese rheumatologist Toshima Yamaguchi, Cryotherapy is quickly becoming a growing business worldwide. The most long-standing and common form of “cryotherapy� is the application of ice or cold packs to injuries to cause blood vessels to constrict, which reduces blood flow and alleviates pain, swelling and inflammation. There is a good amount of evidence supporting the claim that inflammation is the cause of many diseases so it would make sense if we can control inflammation to our body it will improve our overall health. The new and improved form of Cryotherapy is now done in stand up chambers with temperatures dropping as low as -200 degrees Fahrenheit for a time spanning on the average of two to four minutes. Cryopsot OC is home to a plethora of sports teams, professional athletes and an ever growing list of everyday people that are seeing the benefits for the following ailments; Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Psoriasis, Eczema and more. It has also been known to help with faster recovery by reducing inflammation and soreness to muscles which allows the athlete to return to workouts sooner than later. Would you believe that we could look even younger by exposing our skin to freezing temps? Recently Cryotherapy has also been used for beauty purposes by increasing collagen levels, improving skin elasticity, reducing cellulite, as well as weight management! Cryotherapy does not claim to cure any disease but can act as an extremely efficient form of pain management at the least.

Other services offered at Cryopsot OC: Cryofacials Spot Treatments Compression Therapy

From the East Coast to the West Coast

You’ve heard of the coastal battles: East Coast versus West Coast. Sometimes, you just can’t pick one. Sometimes, each coast offers its own unique flair, depending on what you’re looking for, and they’re both equally wonderful. That’s the case if you’re planning a luxurious wellness vacation. Two of my favorite wellness destinations flank each coast of the country, and I couldn’t pick one if I had to. They’re both so different from each other, yet they share one thing in common: the chance to improve your health, physically, mentally, culturally, spiritually; plus, they’re both a ton of fun and set in stunning locations. Try them both or pick your favorite.




SpaTravelGal's Top Picks for a

Wellness Vacation By: Ava Roxanne Stritt aka Spa Travel Gal


West Coast: The Golden Door Spa Go west if you want to travel east -- Far East, that is. The Golden Door resort is a fantasy getaway that is Asian-inspired with its tea, a beautiful koi pond, Japanese gardens, meditation and yoga abound. The Golden Door offers a variety of all-inclusive programs that allow you to customize to meet your overall holistic health and wellness goals. This list includes fitness classes, personal training, healthy food, outdoor activities, quiet walks through the bamboo garden, exciting hikes to the mountain top or classes to help you learn a new skill, like archery. After any of the activities that may cause you to break a sweat it is highly suggested to refresh yourself with an in-room massage or a facial in the spa. I firmly believe that a spa is the heart of any




wellness vacation because it brings balance to your overall self and gently helps to reduce stress from your everyday life. It is said that a good wellness massage will contribute toward overall meaningful health and growth. The therapists at Golden Door Spa have mastered the art of detoxifying their customer's bodies in every sense of the word as well as giving them tips on stress relief and harmonious balance for their every day schedule. The food at the Golden Door is among some of the best food you will ever taste which makes it that much harder to believe that it's all part of a healthy menu meant to compliment all the treatments offered in the spa. Don't forget to try a cup of their custom fresh mint tea, to get the full effect of the Asian inspired spa environment.

East Coast: The Pritikin Wellness Resort The Pritikin Wellness Resort in Miami is the real deal. It is considered one of the most esteemed health resorts on the planet; so much that a wide list of world renowned doctors make their vacation time here.

soak up the Floridian sunshine. Of course the resort boasts an exquisite spa, and guess what? A massage is included with each guest’s immersion package at the Trump Spa inside the Trump National Doral. Don’t miss the hydrotherapy features of the spa. My pro tip is to finish your day there and then sleep like a baby!

Some people come here to lose weight or kickstart a healthier lifestyle. Others come to reset their minds and bodies from the rigor of the daily grind. Visitors work with physicians to set goals and plans and get to choose between a long list of offerings, such as educational classes on nutrition and stress management.

Each guest receives a personalized health plan to take home, so the effects last a lifetime, far after you leave. After spending only three days at Pritikin, I lost 5 pounds (the healthy way), learned a ton about my health, became more aware of my choices and have more energy than I’ve felt in years. I also made friends there -fellow guests, as well as the kind-hearted staff -- who I will never forget.

Pritikin is located at a luxury resort, dotted with five (yes, five) golf courses and multiple clay tennis courts as well as pools to


unclaimed baggage: What actually happens to your lost bags? As travelers head out this season to take advantage of Spring Break, Unclaimed Baggage Center (UBC), a one-of-a-kind store that buys and sells lost luggage from the airlines, shares ten facts about lost luggage. "One of the fears of traveling is not finding your bag once you reach your destination," said Brenda Cantrell, brand ambassador for UBC. "We thought we would share what we have learned from over 45 years in the business of lost luggage to clear up some misconceptions."


The chances of permanently losing your bag is extremely small. Of the billion or so passenger bags checked every year, roughly 1 percent fail to meet up with their owners at the claim carousel. Within 24 hours, 80 to 90 percent of those "lost" bags are found, and within five days 95 to 98 percent of that 1 percent make their way home. Over the course of the next 90-plus days, through a comprehensive baggage tracing process conducted by the airlines, more than half of the remaining bags are reunited with their owners.




2. 3.

Lost Luggage Heads to Scottsboro, Alabama. After an extensive and exhaustive 90-day search by the airlines to reunite a bag with its rightful owner, the Unclaimed Baggage Center purchases the unclaimed items from the airlines and the items are brought to the 40,000 square foot store.

Lost items are thrown away, sold or donated. Only about one-third of the purchased products make it to the floor of the retail store, which accounts for about 7,000 new items being brought to the store floor on a daily basis. Items deemed unsellable are either re-purposed or thrown away.


Your lost items could be reclaimed for good. Through partnering with multiple mission organizations locally, regionally and around the globe, Unclaimed Baggage Center is able to reclaim more than half of these items for good. For example: Hundreds of thousands of eyeglasses donated to The Lions Club Sight First program; broken wheelchairs rebuilt for handicapped children and adults worldwide; millions of dollars worth of medical supplies donated to developing countries; and millions of dollars in clothing donated to the underprivileged.

5. 6.

It's not always the airlines fault. From what we can see, much of the responsibility for lost luggage is with the owner of the luggage. Many of the bags we receive are old, have damaged clasps or are not labeled. It is very difficult for the airlines to trace back luggage that is damaged or not labeled.

Checked luggage is only part of the problem. While checked bags account for a large portion of the inventory at UBC, the store also receives a large amount of items left on the plane. Typically items left on the plane are not labeled and the airlines is unable to return them to their rightful owner.


People pack more than just clothes. While clothing is the number one item we receive, the store has departments featuring electronics, sporting goods, books, household items, jewelry, formal wear, toys and much more.


Lost luggage can contain the rare and unusual.


While not the norm, unclaimed baggage can contain expensive items.

Throughout the years, Unclaimed Baggage has received about anything you can think of including moldy cheese, wedding dresses, rare heirlooms and artifacts, a live snake, musical instruments or expensive jewelry.

UBC has received several high dollar items including jewelry, electronics and historical documents. The highest price item the store sold was a Men's Presidential platinum Rolex valued at $65,000 and we sold it for $23,000.

luggage creates a truly one-of-a10.Lost kind shopping experience. Unclaimed Baggage Center covers more than one city block and attracts over 1 million visitors a year from every state and over 40 foreign countries. The store offers something for everyone: treasure hunt and thrifty shopping; clothing, electronics, home furnishings, books, jewelry, trinkets and other unique items. Need to know more? Everyday UBC hosts an Unclaimed Baggage Experience, where a guest gets to unpack a bag that has never been sorted by the airlines.

the history of UNCLAIMED BAGGAGE CENTER In 1970 Doyle Owens headed to Washington D.C. with an idea, a borrowed pick-up truck and a $300 loan to pick up his first load of unclaimed baggage. Selling the contents on card tables in an old rented house, the venture was an instant success. Starting from that first load of unclaimed baggage, the company, run by Doyle, his wife Sue, and their two boys, grew into a thriving business that would eventually become the only lost luggage store in the United States. Over the next four decades, relationships with airline and other transportation companies across the country were forged. Regional magazines and newspapers began featuring the ‘land of lost luggage’. Products from around the world began pouring into Scottsboro, Alabama, from the ordinary to the amazing. Media and curious visitors quickly followed from every corner of the globe to see the one-of-a-kind store.Today Unclaimed Baggage Center, which was purchased by Doyle’s son Bryan in 1995, covers more than a city block. Unclaimed Baggage Center is now one of Alabama’s top tourist attractions hosting over a million visitors a year from every state and over 40 foreign countries. 109


Every Pup

Deserves a Spa Day

By: Murphy "The Moose"

With all the recent rain and nasty weather lets just say I have not been the cleanest. My parents kept harping at me to “clean it up” yet every mud puddle looked so inviting I had to roll around in them. Every day my pack and I search out the dirtiest spots we can find on our walks and even we were starting to take notice of our stench; we had to admit it was time. After hearing our parents talk about this new place called “Muddy Paws” instantly our ears perked up. Massages and mud baths sounded good to us! We jumped in the car and headed to Orange with our heads out the window taking in some good old fashioned California sunshine. As we pulled up all three of us started to notice that we didn't see any mud, were we getting punked? We entered this so called “Muddy Paws” and right away our hearts started to pound, it was a trick and we were trapped! We were guided one by one into a back room and up a set of stairs into a big square enclosed space.





What is going on here? All of a sudden we felt warm water being sprayed all over us and then it began. A gentle massage started and I felt my tail relax; hold on a second, I think I like this! First, after a thick lather of delightful smelling soap we were given a flea shampoo and thank god because those little buggers have been driving me crazy, scratching day in and day out, say goodbye my little friends! Next, after we were squeaky clean we experienced what they call a blueberry facial and man did it taste good. Post facial they brushed our teeth and even gave us a mud bath treatment! Now we understood and while it wasn’t the same as a mud puddle, we certainly did enjoy it. After the whole process was over we were taken one by one over to a wall and blow dried until we were all fluffed up! Nail trimming followed by a good brush out and then finished with a customized

bandanna and we were stylin! We haven’t looked this good since, well never. As we headed towards the door ready to head home we could smell something scrumptious behind the counter, wait, do I smell donuts? We walked around to the front of the counter and bam there it was, a full barkery! Donuts, cupcakes, cookies, what a doggy dream come true! The lady that washed us was so nice she gave each of us our own customized donut, (of course Lucia got the pink one). Dublin and I had chocolate chip and peanut butter chocolate, yummy! I would have to say the three of us were quite taken back by this whole experience and we were grateful for the trick. Take us back whenever you want! Hey, maybe we will try just a little harder to get muddier next time.


the spring STYLE SURVIVAL GUIDE A season for fresh starts, Spring is the perfect time to revive your wardrobe, alter your lifestyle and find fresh ways to mix up your existing decor. We’ve picked our favorite items for the season, showing you how to follow the trends while keeping it fun and improving all that you do.

NEXT LEVEL VACAY MEMORIES Capturing memories should be just as easy as making them! This season, travelers can use Brinno’s TLC200 Pro to effortlessly capture time lapse video of their vacations. Brinno’s innovative time lapse camera can capture the entire length of a hike or a road-trip and instantly create a ready to watch time lapse video that is perfect to share with others. Instead of capturing a single moment in time, beach-goers can now capture building castles in the sand and the beauty of the sunset in seconds thanks to Brinno’s time lapse technology. The TLC200 Pro is extremely user friendly and is easy enough for beginners to use. The camera’s HDR video sensor ensures high contrast shots under virtually any lighting condition, from low-light to intense backlighting. The TLC200 is equipped with an a spherical 19 mm f/2.0 glass lens for twice the sharpness and four times the low light performance. $219

keep skin safe Cabana Life, the leader in trendy sun protective clothing is not just for the beach with built-in sun protection it can serve as a closet staple all year round. Available for infants, kids and women, all rash-guards come in flattering styles that shield the skin and blocks 98% of UVA and UVB rays. There are also coverups and dresses available for fashionable daytime lounging or savvy date night attire.

ING SUN PROTECT HEADWEAR To ensure adequate sun protection, Aussie-inspired Headwear Company, Wallaroo Hat Company, provides stylish, sun protective hats as seen above and will block out 97.5% of the sun’s harmful rays. Wallaroo hats offer quality fabric and construction to ensure you make the most of your summer time in the sun. Wallaroo Hats have a variety of styles from their wide brim selection including the St. Tropez and Harper to their classics like the Tahiti and Gigi, now both coming in new colors just in time for Spring.

H MAKE A STYLIS SPLASH If it's good enough for T Swift, its good enough for us! FUNBOY, an original line of fun inflatable pool floats (that made a huge splash at Taylor Swift's July 4th bash) provide a touch of whimsical magic to your poolside pursuits. FUNBOY’s new 2017 Festival Flamingo pool float is perfectly pink with 70’s inspired accents that will have you feeling groovy. $99




, DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY Happiest Tee- a brand new luxury loungewear collection that lets you celebrate your favorite place. These American-made tees help you celebrate your hometown, make a beautiful memento from a fabulous vacation or a great gift for that friend with a passion for travel!

ble get fashiona & functional While the Spring season is upon us, you may need to Bundle Up when heading to destinations like Iceland and Australia. Now you can warm yourself up with fabulous and fashionable men and women’s outerwear from Orobos N.Y.C.! The freezing weather no longer has to hinder your fashion because this line of clothing for both men and women is created for warmth and style. With the belief that you don’t have to sacrifice style for warmth, Orobos N.Y.C. combines high quality materials and a fashion forward design to create runway worthy outerwear!

R BALANCE YOU ENVIRONMENT The beautiful warm glow of a Salt Crystal Lamp creates a soothing, relaxing atmosphere in any room. They can be used in bedrooms, living rooms, hallways, offices, meditation rooms, therapy rooms, waiting rooms and for Feng Shui energy. The lamps' healing and purifying properties make them ideal around televisions, computers and cigarette smoke. Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamps are crafted by hand to retain their unique natural shape. The lit bulb warms the salt and sends light that flows through the crystal releasing large quantities of healthy negative ions which improve the quality and freshness of the air. While most ionizers are man-made machines, salt crystal lamps are a natural and beautiful alternative from Mother Nature.

R UPGRADE YOU WHISKEY COLLECTION The Usquaebach Old-Rare is the iconic flagship expression from Usquaebach with a blend and package dating back to the 1700s. Its famous porcelain crock has been unchanged since its beginnings to harken back to an era when Scotch was blended by hand under the watchful eyes of artisan blenders. This Whisky is blended in very small batches and numbered to ensure quality. Designed to appeal to just about anyone's palate, the Old-Rare is a collector’s item that will amaze even the most committed Scotch Whisky drinker. $115

r enhance you grill skills It’s almost time to fire up your BBQ, but before you do get all that gunk off with Grillbot – a fully-automated device that makes cleaning a breeze with just the touch of a button. Simply place this handy robot on any grill, press a button and you’re done. With its smart computer brain to regulate speed and direction, you can put your feet up while it does all the dirty work. $139.95

ES KEEP BEVERAG COLD & CLASSY This elegant and high-quality accessory is designed to keep drinks cold while enjoying them. Sleek gel-filled stainless steel Arctic Chill Shots keep shooters ice cold, no ice needed! Made from stainless steel, the glasses make a sleek addition to your barware collection. $23



Amarte Ultra Veil Sunscreen (SPF 50+) A unique blend of four highly regarded physical and chemical sunscreen agents create an aesthetic veil to protect skin exposed to sunlight. Unique ingredients such as ginkgo biloba nut extract, mesima mushroom, rooibos, tormentil root, skullcap and wild thyme protect and condition skin, offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and help promote positive collagen and elastin balance. $56,

Get your Daily Dose

of Vitamin C! Recapture youngerlooking skin with full de-aging power of fresh, potent Vitamin C with the NEW Clinique Fresh Pressed™ 7-Day System with Pure Vitamin C. Just like, your morning freshpressed juice helps you stay healthy on the inside, this super potent system is designed as a daily supplement to visibly rejuvenate skin from the outside! In just two, simple steps the Clinique Fresh Pressed™ System harnesses the full power of pure Vitamin C at the highest concentration, to brighten, even and re-texturize skin. From the first application, experience brighter, more radiant skin. Clinique’s specialized stay-fresh packaging isolates the pure Vitamin C until activation, maintaining its freshness and full power for remarkable results in JUST 7 days! $27

Look Younger with Anti-Aging Cream A Complete is based on cutting edge research of highly concentrated, Mediterranean Dietinspired formulations featuring key active ingredients (many from botanical and marine origins). A favorite product in their line is the Facial Youth Moisturizing Cream which is formulated with anti-aging properties which progressively address visible signs of aging such as fine lines and dark spots giving your skin a radiant boost for hours. $48




Amarte Natural Finish BB Cream (SPF 36) This finely pigmented moisturizing face tint provides dewy, airbrushed coverage and SPF 36 protection. Rare argan oil conditions the skin with vitamin E and omega-9 oleic acid, restoring deep hydration and even helping to heal dry skin, uneven tone, blemishes and sun irritation. $65,

Spring must-have beauty picks Spring has sprung! You’re sporting a new purse and rocking those new kicks. You are ready for spring... almost. After months of static cling hair, dark makeup tones and chapped lips, you could say we're a little ready to break out some colorful beauty goodies. Feel the same? As you eagerly await the warmer weather, try out these beauty products to put your best self forward.

Change your Pups Beauty Routine M. Boutique's Oatmeal and Honey Conditioner delightfully pampers as it deeply nourishes the skin and coat. Made from only the finest ingredients, rich properties of colloidal oatmeal soothe and relieve dry, irritated and itchy skin while wild honey merges with Moroccan argan oil, aloe vera, and vitamin E to deliver deep conditioning and hydration. Your pet's coat will truly radiate. $15 Furry friends can stay fabulous in between baths with M. Boutique’s Pet Replenishing Mist. A beautiful blend of all natural ingredients restore moisture and added shine, while luxurious essential oils of neroli and wild mint work to soothe and relax your pet. Perfect pampering is revealed with this revitalizing and refreshing mist. $8 M. Boutique’s Waterless Dog Bath allows for rich, deep cleansing without the use of water or rinsing. Convenient and easy to use anywhere, this thick foaming formula loosens dirt while helping to maintain a soft and manageable coat. Rich in vitamins and all-natural extracts, and exquisitely scented with M. Boutique’s signature neroli & wild mint essential oils blend -- amazing aromatherapy awaits pets and their people! $12


Jane Iredale Spring 2017 Collection: Spring Color PurePressed® Eye Shadow Triples $30 From elegant to edgy, these silky, richly-pigmented, long-lasting and easily blended eye shadows can create any look. Crease-resistant and long-lasting, Gentle and safe for sensitive eyes, Can be used wet or dry and as a brow filler, blush or lip stain Key Ingredients: Boron Nitride helps shadow adhere and glide while diffusing light, Pine Bark Extract protects skin and calms inflammation New Shades: Soft Kiss—a matte, warm mauve, shimmery port wine and shimmery smoky brown Pink Quartz—a matte light pink, shimmery soft pink and shimmery, cool plum PureMoist® Lipsticks $25 Vivid pigments blend with nourishing natural oils and fruit extracts for petal-soft lips that feel, look and taste amazing. Proven soothing properties of Moringa Butter saturate the lips with vitamins A and C, while Coffee Seed Extract infuses with even more antioxidant protection Orange Peel Wax, plus ultra-moisturizing Avocado and Sunflower Seed Oils, protect the delicate lip area and give a luxurious, conditioned and quenched feeling to the lips. The organic Pomegranate and Blackberry Extracts are unique luscious flavors that stimulate the senses New Shades: Lisa—a creamy rose beige Susan—a soft cool pink

Look Photo Ready Instantly\ WUNDER2’s new launch the Perfect Selfie HD Photo Finishing Powder is formulated with High-Resolution and Vanishing Veil technology that magically transforms skin to become poreless and pixel perfect. The powder is ultra-soft and bouncy, eliminating the appearance of pores, wrinkles, and shine while promoting an ‘elastic-like’ effect so the skin is able to move without setting into fine lines. $22

In Touch® Cream Blush $27 Glide on this moist, cream-to-powder blush stick for soft, dewy and completely natural looking radiance. Can also be used on eyes and lips, Easy to use stick for touch-ups on the go provides a radiant, lit-from-within glow Key Ingredients: Macadamia Esters hydrate and soothe, Beeswax gives antimicrobial protection New Shade: Candid—a warm, rosy neutral Bronzer Refill $44 For a sunny glow, this bronzer contains four hues that can be mixed and matched for an all-over sun-kissed look. Apply dry or mix with moisturizer or hair gel for dramatic effect on the body and hair. Pair with our sleek refillable compact, sold separately for $18 Key Ingredients: Mica for glide, Pink Bark Extract and Pomegranate Extract for antioxidant protection New Shade: Peaches & Cream—four luxurious, warm peachy and pink hues with shimmer



Style Fashion Week produces a season of groundbreaking events

By: Stephanie Barchetti Photography By: Albert Evangelista & Liza Rosales

This season, global fashion event producer Style Fashion Week solidified their status as a must-see event in New York and Los Angeles. Combining fashion, music, art and entertainment, the experience was second to none. Style Fashion Week New York took place February 9th at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. The iconic theater set the scene for the entertaining evening to follow. Despite the winter weather, thousands of guests flocked to the venue to watch the 15 international and local designers showcase their collections with live performances on the runway and exclusive art installations.

Shahida Parides




Headlined by MALAN BRETON, his powerful show, “Everywhere at the end of time…” drew inspiration from the silent film era with Frankie Grande, Kiera Chaplin, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Mason Grammer and Dylan Grieco donning seventy different looks on the runway. HONEE presented a stunning and intricate collection. SHALINI ARTS showed different textures and tones mixing furs with bold suede. COMMATTEO played with sheer paneling and bold prints. PATRICIA MICHAELS showcased her native culture with hand dyed fabrics and unique textures. MARIO DE LA TORRE presented a collection of chic silhouettes and muted tones closing with a surprise pregnancy announcement, DAVID TUPAZ stunned the crowd with his timeless elegance. ZOAN ASH showed beautifully detailed, ADRIAN ALICEA brought an edgy avant garde show to the runway. M THE MOVEMENT celebrated his 20th anniversary with 2 performances and his lifestyle brand. YDAMYS SIMO presented her adorable childrenswear. RICHARD HALLMARQ showed a sophisticated and chic collection. WANGLILING played with dark light design showing pieces that illuminated with the light

of a camera flash. EDDIE EDDIE BY BILLY TOMMY presented his street wear collection with an unorthodox runway, shooting his lookbook right on stage. RICH BY RICHIE RICH closed the evening with his colorful and bold looks turning the runway into a party. Special performances by Sky Ferreira, hip-hop artist Layzie Bone (Bone Thugs & Harmony), Pop Singer Jeff Timmons (98 Degrees), Miri Ben-Ari and Meredith O'Connor as well as music stylings by Mims, Missals, JP Vance, Squidnice and Smooky MarGielaa and DJ JES entertained a packed crowd of consumers, fashion industry insiders, VIPs and celebrities including Jessica Pimentel, Nicole Arbour, Miss J Alexander, Michael Raven, Caila Quinn and Madeline Stuart, amongst others. Style Fashion Week Los Angeles took place March 9th - 12th at The Pacific Design Center. The event kicked off with a jam-packed opening reception at Skybar at the Mondrian. The party set the bar for the record breaking crowds that would attend the shows the following days. Nearly 20,000 guests packed into the venue over the four day extravaganza. On day one of the events, the crowds were welcomed into the stunning plaza of the Pacific Design Center with incredible jazz music that set the scene for the sophisticated designs of MALAN BRETON. Inspired by 1930’s glamour and the dark film noir era,

Mario De la Torre

his collection mesmerized the crowds. Following the jaw-dropping designs of Malan Breton, the event jumped straight into an opening day after party with a performance by the EC TWINS. The second day of events opened with E! News correspondent Sibley Scoles as the host for the evening. COMMATTEO showed her incredible collection with performances from MEREDITH O’CONNOR and HEATHER LAROSE. The colorful designs of SHAHIDA PARIDES followed along with the bright, 60’s garden inspired designs from MOODS OF NORWAY. Performances from KEVIN LYTTLE, the hilarious KIKI MELENDEZ and ERIC MEYERS followed the first set of shows. The daring, urban looks of RICHARD HALLMARQ kicked off the closing show of the night. The neutral palette and contradicting silhouettes made for the perfect metropolitan collection. The elegance of DAVID TUPAZ followed with graceful lines and feminine looks, resembling that of Coco Chanel or Dior. An enchanting performance from PIA TOSCANO dazzled the audience. Closing out day two, was a shocking surprise from LA native, MARIO DE LA TORRE. The designer took his usual designs and stunned the crowd with a new collection made out of impeccably cut vinyl as well as an exciting gender reveal on the runway! The third day of events the hilarious JAY DAVIS hosted the events from the runway. Musical performances by the talented MICHAEL RAVEN and RYAN CABRERA entertained the crowds. Children’s designers DISCO PANDA and YDAMYS SIMO brought adorable and impressive collections to the runway. A special performance from the unbelievably talented, RILAN wowed the crowds. Closing out the night was the talented BIJAN ANDRE and his impeccable couture gowns, the urban street wear of EDDIE EDDIE BY BILLY TOMMY and the unique, dark light designs of WANGLILING. The final day of Style Fashion Week was opened with the incredible, edgy designs of THOMAS WYLDE. Her celebration of death showed edgy detailing with a rock and roll side. Later that evening, CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S ZUMANITY stunned the





crowd with jaw-dropping acrobatics from a single hoop artist. 98 degrees’ JEFF TIMMONS performed for the crowd taking everyone back to the 1990’s. A musical performance from JP VANCE entertained the crowds with his impressive vocals. Closing out the week, was the intricate designs from HONEE and the sensual work of ADRIAN ALICEA. Throughout the week there was a star studded front row and red carpet including the following: Chris Soules, Robby Hayes, Chase McNary, Ashley Iaconetti, Corrine Olympios, Whitney Fransway, Sarah Vendal and Kristina Schulman (The Bachelor), Christina Milian (Singer/Actress), Dinah Jane (Singer, Fifth Harmony), Nicole Scherzinger (Singer), Diamond White (Actress), John Moore (Actor), Carla Gordy (BET), John Moore (Actor), Michael Learned (Actress), Mickey Gooch (Actor), Harvey Guillen (Actor), Luke Cook (Actor), Ahmed Baageel (Actor), Jessie Pitts (Singer), Jordyn Jones (Singer), Madelaine Petsch (Actress), Pia Mia (Singer), Chantel Jefferies (DJ), Peyton List (Blogger), Draya Michele (Actress), Audrey Napoleon (DJ), Kat Graham (Actress), Amy Noonan (Herby, Karmin), Ryan Cabrera (Singer), Jeff Timmons (Singer), Kurt Russell (Actor), Michael Jai White (Actor), Gillian Waters (Actress), Frieda Payne (Singer), Tisha Campbell (Actress), Kim Porter, Music Industry Legend Terry Rindal, Supremes Founding Member Mary Wilson, American Idol Finalist Olivia Rox, Fitness Icon Kathy Kaehler, Top Chef Dwayne Martin, Drummer James Robertson, Talk Show Host Karla Gordy Bristol, Costume Designer James Purdue "Jai" Jackson and Randy and Cookie Kolker, Sibley Scoles, Pia Toscano, Meredith O’Connor, Heather Larose , Connor Paolo (Actor), Mason Grammer, Dylan Grieco, Taryn Manning (Actress), Danielle Savre (Actress), Harvey Guillen (Award Winning Producer/Actor) and Camille Grammer (Reality TV Star). Style Fashion Week has wrapped their

season with jaw-dropping production and events. This is definitely a must-see event for all fashion, art and music fans. Once again, Style Fashion Week has proved to be an entertaining, impressive and exciting event! A special thank you to Style Fashion Week sponsors; International Chamber of Design, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, Markable, Stellina Di Notte Wine & Prosecco, 1-800 Popcorn, Zico, Wella, & Hair Lounge, Lyft, City of Los Angeles, The City of West Hollywood, Cirque Du Soleil, Insomniac, SkyDeck Experiences, Jam3R, Biogen and TEVA Pharmaceuticals, Peroni, Essentia Water and Pipeline Insurance.

Malan Breton

This Seasons Hot Hotels

MELIA BRACO VILLAGE TRELAWNEY, JAMAICA By: Kelly Magyarics Some Caribbean resorts eschew local flavor in favor of a feel more familiar to their international clientele. Not so at this allinclusive property forty-five minutes east of Montego Bay. Designed to be reminiscent of an old colonial village (the nearby town of Falmouth, to be exact), its Georgian architecture, latticed-balconies and town square fountain give off a true Jamaican vibe. The resort’s 232 rooms and suites are split into two sections: beachfront and garden view Colonial-style villas on one side and more exclusive accommodations and amenities on the Level side. All rooms include a complimentary minibar stocked daily and offer room service twenty-four hours a day. A private beach awaits a mere few steps away, with lounge chairs, cabana beds, palm trees and palapas. On the Level side, rooms are either beachfront (if they are situated on the first floor) or oceanfront (on the second); for more living space, select a Romance or Royal Suite. The Level also features a separate check-in area, beachfront lounge with a full bar, snacks and light meals refreshed three times daily, and an exclusive pool, beach and Jacuzzi. A private concierge is assigned to each Level guest, who is available to answer questions, book experiences and help with requests large or small any time of day or night.




Lounge, relax and take a dip in the resort’s pool, which provides a swim-up / walk-up bar and adjacent whirlpool all overlooking gorgeous turquoise water. Feel like doing more than working on your tan? Take out one of the Catamarans or ocean kayaks. Or grab a few friends and a waterproof speaker bar and float on an oversized beach pillow. Six restaurants feature something for everyone (Golden Sand, is exclusive to Level guests), but unlike other resorts where you have to play the reservation game as soon as you check-in to snag a table at the more popular restaurants, all of Melia Braco Village’s dining spots have enough space to accommodate everyone even when the property is at 100% capacity--with tables left over. Start the day with ackee and saltfish at The Market Place, or have one of the chefs whip up an omelet or fruit smoothie. For lunch, follow the trail of savory smoke to O’Grille, where juicy and spicy jerk chicken is grilled daily on a steel drum and served along with flaky meat patties--both are perfect washed down with an ice cold Red Stripe. Several tempting dinner options are available, including teppanyaki and sushi at Nikkei, pastas and wood-fired pizza at Rasta Pasta, and steak and seafood at 876 Prime. The latter (named for the country’s area code) is the resort’s signature, upscale option, with crystal chandeliers, mirrored walls and white leather chairs; menu standouts include

lobster bisque, Jamaican grilled lobster and rib eye steak. Of course, no beach resort would be worth its salt without a place to partake in some fun, tropical drinks. In addition to the swim-up bar and the Level lounge, Jigger is an airy spot overlooking the pool for a pina colada or the colorful Bob Marley--a layered, blended drink with mango and strawberry daiquiris. Late night, discotheque Shaker serves up cocktails with a pulsating beat. If you need a little break from all that blue sky, Yhi Spa is just the oasis you crave. Since Jamaica is known for its amazing Blue Mountain Coffee, you’ll want to book an Island Vibe treatment, where ground coffee beans are mixed with Shea butter and sea salt for an exfoliating, rejuvenating and skin tightening scrub, followed by a coffee oil massage--making the entire room smell like a bowl of sweet coffee ice cream. Melia Braco Village embodies Jamaican culture at its core, from the Friday night street festival that overtakes the resort’s town square, to the authentic local snacks like plantain chips found in the rooms. Jamaicans are fond of using the term “full joy” rather than “enjoy,” and that pretty much sums up what you’ll be feeling during a stay here. It’s irie, mon. ■

Hot Hotels

SHERATON BAY POINT RESORT By: Alex Temblador Florida is well-known for their sandy beaches, and every year, thousands flock to the shores of Miami, Destin, and Tampa which causes overcrowded, loud beaches and less-than-idyllic vacations. Then there’s Panama City Beach, a small beach town on the Florida Panhandle that was once well-known as a Spring Break destination. Now with an ordinance that prohibits alcohol on the beach during March, the beach town is transforming into Florida’s best-kept secret, and surprisingly it has its own hidden gem on its Bay Point marina. Sheraton Bay Point Resort opened in 2016 following a $30-million renovation and in less than a year it’s already received a AAA Four Diamond Rating. It has changed hands over the years and has hosted such guests as President Obama and Sheryl Crow, and with the renovations, is the perfect spot for celebrities and high-end clientele in the future. The property has an oceanfront location on the Bay Point marina about a 20-minute drive from the main stretch of Panama City Beach. The hotel is set apart from the main crowds and well-spaced out from the closest hotel property making it a private affair for its clientele. A shuttle, however, allows guests to explore different parts of the city and the beach if they so desire. Despite the location away from the main beaches, Sheraton Bay Point Resort offers a private beach area for its residents, a beach that isn’t affected by the March alcohol ordinance and is itself serviced by the Hammock’s Beach Bar in the summer or Pelican’s, a relaxed bar set on a scenic boardwalk over the bay, in the off season. A simple tap of a button on a lounger and a waiter will arrive to take your frozen drink, beer, or cocktail order. The Sheraton Bay Point Resort boasts 320 guest rooms and over 60,000 square foot of meeting space. The design is upscale without being pretentious; a modern beach house vibe with a soft blue color scheme and brand new bells and whistles from the top to the bottom. Amenities are plentiful in rooms with flat-screen TVs, balconies with ocean views, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers with Starbucks coffee. Book a Suite for the added luxury of Aromatherapy showers, which are also featured in the hotel’s deluxe spa. Coming soon, the hotel will provide arm bands that allow you to enter your room without a card, provide exclusive entrance to the private beach, or charge food and drink to your room. This oceanfront property covers all the basics in terms of perks – four pools, a spa, tennis courts, fitness center, and six dining options – and goes the extra mile for clientele who are interested in luxe comforts on-site. Next to the St. Andrew’s Pavilion is the hotel’s helicopter pad which allows clients to be flown in from the airport or take a fun bird’s eye tour of Panama City Beach. Sheraton Bay Point Resort also offers a boat shuttle to Shell Island on their private boat, Bay Point Lady. Shell Island is a gorgeous white sandy island with turquoise waters. The boat’s scheduled trips allow guests to generally have the island all to themselves in the morning and evening for about an hour. Boat rentals, dolphin tours, kayaks, and wave runners are all available from the hotel’s private dock too. Golfers will rave about the two golf courses available, including the only Niklaus Design golf course in northwest Florida. You can make it an even memorable experience by renting a golf board, a large scooter-like machine that allows golfers to race on the course with their bag. Leisure guests and groups can opt for a special dining experience with head Chef Shane Miller, winner of the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen and Guy’s Grocery Games. His menu tends to focus on seafood, like the delicious Miso Sea Bass with sweet potato pairing, and delicacies with cuisine influences from his hometown of New Orleans. Though the hotel opened in 2016, they have plans to add extra perks within the next year such as 60 one- and two-bedroom golf villas, paddle boarding on-site, fireworks for special occasions, a hot tub by the pool, and a Starbucks coffee shop in the lobby. If you want an exclusive getaway on a white sandy beach in Florida with upscale amenities and perks, Sheraton Bay Point Resort is the right choice. ■



INTERCONTINENTAL LOS ANGELES CENTURY CITY In such a competitive hotel industry it's the small things that makes you stand apart from the rest; with this statement strongly in place at the Intercontinental Los Angeles it is no wonder guests come back time and again. The grand lobby entrance boldly sets the pace upon arrival, drop your bags and get ready to enjoy your stay at the highest level, Intercontinental style! Kick back in one of the 363 luxurious guest rooms and suites and leave all your worries to the hotel staff for your entire stay. Exceptional service is given from the moment you step into the lobby, from unpacking your bags for you to booking activities on and off property, dinner reservations to turn down service, it is all about you here! Centrally located to everything that is LA you are only minutes away from world class shopping, famous Hollywood landmarks and of course the white sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean. With endless sight seeing, world class attractions, theme parks and much more one could spend weeks in the Los Angeles area and never see it all; the hotel's concierge team will make sure you are well taken care of with a full itinerary customized to your liking! Complimentary luxury car service is available to guests to escort you anywhere you want to go within 1.5 miles of the property. Feel like just kicking back and enjoying your room and all the amenities of the hotel? Sweeping panoramic views are seen from every balcony or terrace, order a glass of bubbly to simply just sit back and take it all in. Intercontinental Los Angeles offers everything you need for the perfect stay without even leaving the property; Spa Intercontinental, a 24 hour fitness center with an outdoor heated infinity edge pool, business center, dry cleaning, complimentary shoeshine service and more make this a hot hotel for the cities most elite. Mari No need for off property dining here! Mari at the Intercontinental Los Angeles brings you one of the best hotel restaurants in the city, one that simply cannot be missed during your stay. Mari is such a popular hotspot for LA locals be sure to make your reservation upon arrival to guarantee you get a chance to experience what the buzz is all about! Executive Chef Jonathan Wood combines his passion for the freshest organic ingredients with a global Californian fusion menu offering a wide variety of must try items. LATM favorites - Brussels Sprouts (Yuzu Vinaigrette, Pistachios), Grilled Peach Salad (Arugula, Candied Pecans, Feta, Champagne Vinaigrette), Tokyo Beef Curry (Pork Tonkatsu, Steamed Rice, Fukujinzuke), NY Strip (Dry Rubbed, Yukon Potato Mash, Asparagus, Sauce au Poivre) â–




Hot Hotels


Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Union Square district Hotel Adagio is a landmark structure hosting theatergoers and tourists alike. Originally built in 1929 the structure is within walking distance to world-class shopping, dining and entertainment as well as key attractions including the Moscone Center, Market Street, North Beach, Chinatown and three of the city’s most historic theaters. A new benchmark for San Francisco boutique hotels, Hotel Adagio is truly a sophisticated retreat. The vision behind the hotel’s recent multi-million renovation includes textured backdrops comprised of warm coffee tones and punctuated with vibrant pops of color – lime green and deep purple accent the hotel’s guest rooms, and deep orange and cranberry in the public spaces. Each of the 171 rooms and suites is infused with modern decor, the latest technology and the space you need to feel at home with the largest hotel rooms in San Francisco. Mixed with an upscale, contemporary design the lobby décor creates a unique and clean arrival experience, accentuated by one of the city’s newest and hottest craft cocktail bars, The Mortimer. Check-in was smooth and the staff was very accommodating. We were given the key to the penthouse located on floor sixteen; a nice surprise upgrade to start the stay off right. As we opened the door to our suite I noticed the clean contemporary décor theme continued. The views of the city were fantastic. Our room featured Luxe Egyptian cotton linens, a 32” HD LCD TV, a premium sound system with a docking station and ample work space, although I will not be working on this trip it’s still nice to know I could if I had to. During our stay we notice that every time we passed through the lobby, the Mortimer was busy and seemed the “happening” spot to be. The Mortimer was voted as one of San Francisco’s hottest new bars. Insider Tip: For breakfast The Green Room is a perfect place to start your day. The three cage free egg omelet with mushrooms, spinach and gruyere is a winner. ■


Travel the World From Hungary to Indonesia discover your inner explorer with these travel spots we suggest you add to your bucket list ASAP.

Ancient Castle Tata, Hungary 124 124


Old Harbour The Twelve Apostles Antalya,Australia Turkey Victoria, 125

Busan, South Korea 126



Sukhothai Historical Park Thailand 127

Lake Falensee Appenzell Canton, Swiss Alps 128



Uluwatu Temple Bali, Indonesia


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"The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul." -Wyland








Food & Wine Connoisseurs unite as the top chefs from Southern California come together in Hollywood for a worldly experience that will excite both your senses and taste buds. Only a few lucky guests will be able to partake in this very private and exclusive event so get your tickets early! Join us for an afternoon of Internationally inspired food and beverage from some of Southern California’s most prominent chefs and mixologists. Sample all of their creative dishes and then vote for your favorite at the end of the event. Enjoy live International performances and music, Wine Tasting and Specialty Cocktails.

Los Angeles Travel Magazine 2017 Spring Issue  
Los Angeles Travel Magazine 2017 Spring Issue