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to f rom March/April 2012

the premiere issue


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within our pages


The Village Experience: Connecting Tourism with Social Responsibility


So What Did You Do for Spring Break?


How We Travel: GQ Trippin’


The Best Views: Views from Two Spring Break Hotels


Spring Break: Then & Now



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38 84

You Are a Sun Goddess: Protect Your Face

10 Places to Spring Break Before You Die


Spring Break Detox

the spring break issue 10 12 14 88


Beach Montage Cruisin’ Risque Vegas Mexican Souvenirs


New Orleans & All That Jazz

16 18 82

Editor’s Letter Language Lesson Know This City? Book It

Real Jet Setters Bridesmaids What She Wore



6 20 28 110 112


96 98 100 108

Tequila Beer ¡Delicioso! Mexcian Recipes Mexican cookbooks

Best souvenirs to

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gum wall in Seattle



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letter f rom the editor Dear Readers, Welcome to the first issue! Let’s start off with an admission: I’m magazine junkie. This is the main reason I wanted to try to create a publication that would bring together a few of my favorite things, starting with travel. But I wanted to put together more than just another travel magazine. Since a lot of us are not always on the road, we have to find ways to be inspired when we’re at home. So while to f rom focuses on travel, we will also cover lifestyle themes - beauty, pop culture, shopping and food - that are influenced by this one big thing (travel). And why not start with a spring break issue? Can’t go wrong with fun and sun, right? Well, I didn’t go anywhere sunny or tropical for spring break this year. Instead, I went to Seattle with my boyfriend and brother. While it was a little on the chilly side, it was a tad bit better than the snow that touched down in Chicago (where I live) that weekend. It was also nice to be away for awhile.

yup, that’s us

But for those who are looking for warm getaways this spring, I’m delighted to say that Patricia Schultz - the best selling author of 1000 Places to See Before You Die- has a few ideas for you! Considering that she travels a good amount of the year, she has a good handle on what to see. Check out her spring destination picks on page 40. I am also delighted to include a couple of bloggers that I admire, including Sally from Unbrave Girl as well as Gerard and Kieu - the couple behind GQ Trippin’. There’s also an interview with The Village Experience - a company started by two sisters. Kelly and Anne Campbell travel to developing countries, help set up businesses in these communities and sell products from these local groups back at TVE's store (and online) in Indianapolis. The sales from the products are put right back into the villages, and I have to say that the products are as great as the business model. I am excited to share their business with you! Without further adieu, I hope you enjoy this first issue. If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me at I would love to hear from you.

Diana to

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Airports Itinerar

(To follow or not to fo

BEACHES Just En Keep EspaÑol Lip Gl spring break: Flip flops Mem MAKE



G String Night s (If you’re brave)

Hot 8


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along th


ries Pack A Book


Quiet nAps In a Hammock


njoy R&R cool and Sunblock TAN Bodies loss a to z Umbrellas (in your drinks)


Vacations mories Wedges X-Scape...

strolls Yellow

he shore

(It’s a cool color. Wear it!)

an water Zero Stress. It’s Spring Break. Enjoy it! to

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essentials for fun (and relaxation) in the sun always have backup shades!

RB4125 758/32 CATS 5000 Sunglasses $185 Ray-Band

Crocheted Beach Hat $19.50 American Eagle Outfitters

Ray-Ban Women’s Shiny Silver Aviator Sunglasses $90.89 Overstock.comm

Lacoste Monaco Beach Towel $39.99

before the big reveal Beach Sexy Beach Romper $42 Victoria’s Secret

stay hydrated! 27 oz Classic Stainless Steel Water Bottle with sport cap (a loop cap is also available) $17.95 Klean Kanteen

protect your sole Mossimo Lusa Studded Flip Flops $17 Target



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Large Unlined Oilcloth Beach Tote $48 rbt bags

Start your summer reading early!

Bicycle Playing Cards $3.99 drugstores nationwide

Ultimate Frisbee Disc The 4-Hour Work Week, $14.99; The Au Pairs, 13.91; My Year With Eleanor, $14.45

More book recommendations from fellow travelers on page 110.

$12.95 Frisbee

not just a pen! Bookmarker Pens $7 Barnes & Noble

writing is not a dead art Seven 4x5.5� 80-page Fabrino Paper Bouquet Blank Notebooks $23.50 Greer Chicago

(This might also come in handy to write down a phone number or two. Just sayin’.)

Beach Insurance Kodak Water & Sport Waterrpoof One-time Use Camera. $7 drugstores nationwide

(Why risk damaging your digital camera?) to

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Cruisin’ the high sea

Noonday Danglers $48 Anthropologie

Kenneth Cole Reaction Cover Up, Strapless Sweetheart V Hardware Empire Printed Maxi $92 Macy’s

H&M white bikini top & bottom

image: Macy’s

$12.95 each

Vivienne Westwood Angomania + Melissa Button Sandals 12


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F4339 Sunglasses $5.80 from Forever21

Echo Graphic Diamonds Beach Sack $46.40


Eschenbach Glamour 3x25 Opera Glasses - High Class Gold $179.99

ONE OF THOSE THINGS TO PACK Solar Force L2P Flashlight Host for 18650 - L2P Host HA III Gold Finish $30

FOR THOSE COOL STROLLS ALONG THE DECK AE Open Sitch Hoodie $9.50 American Eagle


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Risqué Luck Red Leafy Lace Underwire Bra & Throng $48 Topshop

Commotion Dress $68 Nasty Gal


$32 exclusively at JC Penney

“If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.” -Paul Samuelson, American economist

Red Lt Siam $352 Helens’ Heart for store locations



image: Nasty Gal

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MAC Super Red Lipstick $15 MAC Cosmetics

Sondra Roberts “Rose” Satin Box Clutch $98 Nordstrom

Diane Von Furstenberg DVF552S $130

Swarvoski Crystal Chic Red Ring $270 Macy’s

Large Hoop Earrings $2.80 Forever 21


Dogeared Jewels Make A Wish Necklace $30


A few recommendations that might help your game (from top to bottom): Idiot’s Guide to Texas Hold ‘em ($9.95); Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book ($39.99); Harrington on Hold ‘em ($29.95); Super System: A Course in Power Poker ($29.95); Caro’s Book of Poker Tells ($24.95); Check-Raising the Devil ($24.95) to

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The Jet Setters of Beverly Hills first class ladies

When it’s time for some R&R, the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills escapes to Hawaii. Although they have to fly (gasp!) commercial, they at least have access to champagne. Naturally, daaaahling.

...and then, private!

Well, it’s technically a hopper plane, but still private nonetheless. (Zohar not included.)

Spending a beautiful afternoon on a yacht.



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Hawaii or Bust


Sunbathing while waiting for the resort’s Sun Tan Guy to come spray them down.

This is the good life.


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“Listen, I need a trip that I can fantasize forever [about], so that I’m able to have sex with my husband.” Who can blame her? Married with 3 kids, the bride’s cousin Rita wants a weekend to forget about her responsibilities and recapture her glory days. What she’s insists on packing: a tube top Fuschia sequined tube top, Tube Top Company $19.99


“Everyone should experience first class at least once in their lives.” As a traveler, Helen prefers to fly private. But if it’s commercial, then it is absolutely must be first class. Ah, we all know a girl like Helen, don’t we? One thing she travels with: Your BFF sitting next to her in first class (while you're back in coach).

image: Bridesmaid (Universal Pictures)

Traveling Bridesmaids NERVOUS FLYER. STUCK IN COACH.

“There’s a colonial woman on the wing!” Anxious travelers, please learn one thing from Annie: sleeping pills (that weren’t prescribed to you in the first place) and Scotch are not a good mix. One thing she travels with: a comfy but cute outfit. (Hey, we like Annie.) 18


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Cute look. Terrible flyer.

Yes, those Bridesmaids

THE GLUE OF THE GROUP “Can’t she stay up here for a minute and talk?” Everyone wants a friend like Lillian (as evidenced by the two women fighting for her). It's always nice to travel with someone who wants to appease the whole group.

The one thing she travels with: stressful optimism (Someone, get her a drink!)


“I’ll take the first watch.” Megan sure comes in handy in (what she perceives as) potentially dangerous situations. Try not to sit next to her. The one thing she travels with: a neck pillow (A prepared traveler, indeed.) Samsonite inflatable neck pillow with cover, $12.99


“I love puppets!” She’s so cute and innocent. You want to taint a girl like Becca. And as her friend, you should. The one thing she travels with: Memories of her Sweetheart Honeymoon at Disney World. (Seriously, taint her.) to

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Hola, Chichen At to&f rom we love languages almost as much as we love pyramids. If you happen to be at Chichen Itza (about two hours from Cancun) in Mexico, here are some Spanish phrases that might be helpful: ¡Es grande! It’s big! ¡Son bonitas! They’re beautiful! Ese hombre se ve That man looks like como George Clooney. George Clooney. Necesito agua. I need water. ¡Me gusta tu vestido! I love your dress!

ide la ppiyrraámm id

las nouudsbes cl

las esca stairs


el fonmdo botto

la 20

e d r e v a hierb rass

Oh, you’re asking me to take your picture!

green g


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well, it’s sort of green


¡Toma mi foto, por favor!


el cielo sky

perior parte su top

Chichen Itza

is Mayan for “At the mouth of the well of the Itza� [an ethnic group]

dor agota usting exha

el borde the edge

el groupo de viaje tour group

ros to

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spr ing br eak:

by the numbers SPEND YOUR PIECE OF THE PIE: spring break is a $1 billion industry.

BEFORE THERE WERE 7 STRANGERS WHO LIVED IN A HOUSE.... MTV has been covering spring break since 1986.

BOOM TOWN: 10 out of 25 spring break cities are located in Florida.

The top student spring break destinations: • Cancun • Panama City Beach • Puerto Vallarta • Punta Cana to f rom 22

THERE WERE LOTS OF KIDS BORN IN THE 90s.... Approximately 2,000,000 students are off for spring break. ACT LIKE LADY, DRINK LIKE A MAN? Women will drink about 10 drinks a day during spring break.

HAPPY 73RD BIRTHDAY! 1939 was the year of the 1st spring break. (2012 will be the best year though.)

How We Travel: GQ Trippin


erard and Kieu are former corporate slaves (Gerard worked in Marketing while Kieu was in the cosmetics industry) from California. They are currently doing a Round the World trip and blogging about their adventures.

design by Melissa Griffin

How did you come up with the name of your site [GQ Trippin]? We go by GQ for short. G for Gerard, mainly because people have such a hard time saying Gerard and Q because that’s exactly how you’d pronounce Kieu. Q once saw an MTV series “Trippin” with Cameron Diaz where she traveled with her celeb friends around the world. We’ve been trippin’ ever since. When did you get the travel bug? G: My first (well, second if you count Mexico) international trip abroad in 2003. Q and I backpacked Europe for 3 weeks! Q: I caught the bug at a very young age. My mom would take us back to Vietnam often to visit family for Tet (Vietnamese New Year) and even to Germany to where her brothers now reside. I was 13 when I traveled to Europe alone to stay with my uncles. Been obsessed with Europe ever since. Where are you now? We are finishing up Australia and about to explore the Great Barrier Reef near Port Douglas. Next stop – Singapore and the rest of Asia after that!

GQ at Iguazu Falls.



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Cameron Diaz Trippin. Photo courtesy of Cameron Diaz and MTV.

Before this RTW trip, when was your last trip? Where? How long? G: Last trip abroad would be last July. Took a 10- day boys’ trip to Barcelona and Ibiza for [the] 4th of July break.

Q: South America for me. We spent 3 weeks in Rio de Janeiro for Reveillon (New Year’s Eve) and also visited Iguazu Falls and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

followed by a full day of doing something touristy outdoors. We’ve had little downtime since being on the road.

What do you always bring with you when you travel? G: Besides a camera? Laptop, phone, iTouch, etc. What can I say, I like my gadgets.

Kieu, are there on-the-road beauty products or secrets you swear by? Heaps! Lol. Dry shampoo for the in between days and a great concealer will usually do the trick. I swear by my Benefit Playstick. And a few additional essentials to get me through the day.

Q: Practical stuff like lip balm with SPF, a snack bar and lots and lots medications. Oh, and Salonpas. I’m Asian like that. How do you spend your time on long flights? G: If I’m not sleeping, then reading on the kindle or watching movies on the iPad. But I’m really good at sleeping on planes for the most part. Q: I pop a Benadryl or Tylenol PM almost instantly and knock out. The in-flight movies usually keep me entertained as well. Do you have any travel habits? We’re definitely foodies so you can bet we’ll hit the streets in search of good eats before any sight-seeing. What have your days been like since you’ve embarked on this RTW trip? Early morning wake up calls, a bowl of cereal or eggs over-easy, buttered toast and a glass of OJ breakfast

I saw your posts on the things you packed. Anything that you wished you had packed? Anything you think wasn’t really necessary to bring with you? G: Should have packed my running shorts. Wished I didn’t pack two long-sleeves and black dress shirt (it’s been 2 months and still haven’t worn the dress shirt even once!). Also wished my Patagonia jacket had a hood – we’ve had more rainy days than expected. Q: I could always use more Exofficio or quick dry undies. Probably could have made do without the 4th pair of shoe. I have yet to wear my skirt and LBD. [Editor’s note: Check out Kieu and Gerard’s packing list.] Your ultimate spring break destination? I think we’re getting a bit old to say Cancun. But if we’re sticking with a beach destination then I wouldn’t mind Bora Bora or the Maldives. Where will you be this spring break? We’ll be in India just in time for the Holi Festival in March and will be making our way to Thailand in April for the Full Moon Party and Songkran.

STAYING KIEU-T: Some beauty products Kieu relies on.


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In 3 words, answer the following: When I’m on the road I feel...



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Find out more about Gerard and Kieu and their RTW travels:


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where in the world?

KNOW THE LOCATION? Guess the city. We’ll reveal the city in the next issue!



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ABOUT THIS CITY NOT JUST A TOURIST DESTINATION. Although many people come to this country to vacation, there are those that come to live in this city. A PARTY TOWN? Doubtful. A good number of people who come to live here are retired North Americans. ¡AGUA! The body of water seen in these pictures is a fresh water lake that is the largest fresh water lake in the country in which it resides. BRING DINERO. There’s also an outdoor market where there’s plenty of jewelry, houseware items, clothing [including the $10 dress to the right] and souvenirs to keep a bargain hunter busy.

$10 dress! to

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the best views A good hotel knows that most visitors judge the place by the lobby area. Is it swanky? Modern? Or is it just a beautiful area - no explanation needed? The second round of eye candy begins up in the hotel room where it’s all about the decor and maybe how big the bathroom is. (Because, let’s face it: size matters.) However, when your destination is all about the beach, the most important thing is the proximity to the water. The San Juan Marriott and Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit both understand what appeals to their guests. Here, each hotel showcases some of its best views.



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“I love the pool view rooms in the main tower high floors.... from the balcony you can see the Ocean, the Pool, the City, the Convention District, the airport from Isla Grande, the mountains in the back and the beautiful Old San Juan!!!� -Maika Schoergmayer, Front Office Manager

San Juan Marriot to

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“From inside the hotel, I love the view from the recently renovated Lobby’s Red Coral Lounge and the beautiful new Red Coral wood art piece which is the focal point of the entrance of the Lobby.” 32 to

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Grand Velgas Riviera Nayarit

“[The] views from Grand Velas bring the beauty of our spectacular destination right into our suites, as if it were part of the décor. “



. w e i v a h wit A room

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-Carolina Almazan, Public Relations Coordinator


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“[Grand Velas] is a place where guests can absorb the splendor of the Mexican Pacific with all of their senses; from the infinite blue of the sea with the verdant Sierra Madre mountains in the distance to the sound of the gently crashing waves, sensation of the soft ocean breeze and therapeutic scent of the sun, sand and waters of the tropics.�


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10 Places to Spring Break Before You Die And just how often does Schultz travel? “More often than not,” she responds with a laugh. 38


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Author Patricia Schultz is hardly spending her spring break on a tropical island. After selling 3 million copies of her 2003 best selling 1000 Places to See Before You Die, Schultz is currently on tour to promote its second edition [available now]. While she’s embarking on her book tour, Schultz has created a list of ten fantastic spring break destinations for every budget. Lucky for you, she’s done all the research. All you need to do is book your flight and arrange your trip. If it doesn’t happen this spring, then add one - or all - of these destinations to your Bucket List. They’re all worth seeing at least once in your lifetime.

design by Melissa Griffin to

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Budget Destinations

Amelia Island, Florida

Amelia Island “is warm. It’s lovely. It’s relaxing and at the same time, away from the fray,” says Schultz. And it’s budget-friendly too. Fly into Jacksonville International Airport and get to Amelia Island in less than hour. There, you’ll find great B&B options, activities like horseback riding and beautiful beaches to stroll along. It might be too cold to go into the water, but it might just be warm enough to go sunbathing. (What more could you want this time of year?) 40


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The Florida Keys

For a more traditional Floridian getaway, you have the Keys. Fly into Miami, and from there you can drive down to the islands. You might find yourself at Key West as it’s the most known, and “for that reason, most expensive. But there are dozens of other Keys between Miami and Key West,” Schultz states. But be warned, coming down here ensures a “very fun, very relaxing Jimmy Buffet type of getaway.” Margaritaville anyone?


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Go now before everyone does.

Nicaragua is not a place that instantly comes to mind for most of us as a vacation destination. However, Schultz recommends Nicaragua for the traveler “who wants the next great thing before it becomes developed and is on everyone’s radar.” More specifically, check out Corn Islands – located on the eastern coast of Nicaragua. The area is “very laid back” with friendly locals. And you heard it here: Nicaragua is “the best kept secret of the Caribbean”. (Technically, Schultz adds, it’s situated in central America but is on the Caribbean coast line.)



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Moderate Destinations

Charleston, South Carolina

“This is one of my favorite places anywhere,” gushes Schultz. “March and April is when everything blooms and when it does, it is just magnificent.” Every year, Charleston hosts the Festival of Houses & Gardens in which private residences open their homes and gardens to the public. In addition, “walking through the street is like an open air museum because the architecture the goes back to the 1700s & 1800s,” Schultz explains. But if a home and garden tour isn’t your idea of a spring break, then come for the food. Charleston is “one of our more important eating cities” mostly due to the Lowcountry Cooking – a casual, unpretentious cooking that includes regional ingredients–rice, seafood, okra and other local vegetables–of the coastal area of South Carolina. Lowcountry Cooking is described as having flavors influenced by Caribbean and African cuisines. Yum.



For day trips, you can drive 15-30 minutes outside of Charleston for some beach island escape. For the golfer: Kiawah Island has some of the best courses in the country. to

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Until about 10 years ago, the US Navy was stationed in the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. For this reason, the island was never fully developed, “so it has all these open beautiful beaches. It has wild horses. It has tons of great small family-owned inns [and] you can get there very easily from San Juan,” according to Schultz. “Ninety-nine percent of the island is flip flop, laid back and gorgeous. A lot of expats from the US build their places here. The reason this is [a] moderate[ly priced destination]and not considered budget is because of airfare.” Still, “it’s very, very much the hot place to go now in the Caribbean for people in the know.” 44


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Anguilla “Anguilla, to me, has the best beaches in the Caribbean. Although flat as a pancake, the beaches are like sugar and the water is something out of this world,” Schultz professes. But book your flight well in advance to get the best prices. Once you’re in Anguilla, you have your pick of accommodations from various price points that include less expensive hotels as well as some of the finest in the Caribbean. You’ll have a harder time picking a beach - there are over 30 public beaches to choose from!


Book Early! The Caribbean doesn’t have to cost a fortune. To keep your travel expenses low, start looking for flights early, especially for travel in March, April and May. Keep that in mind because some of the travel periods during those months becomes off-season, other periods are ticketed at high-season prices during the busier spring break periods until the airlines drop their fares. Once you are in the Caribbean, every island has reasonably priced lodging but it may not be right on the beach or have multiple restaurants on site. (Just between us, wouldn’t you rather spend your time on the beach anyway?)


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Austin, Texas

“This is the funnest destination anywhere if you like music because music is everywhere,” Schultz declares. “It’s very young [University of Texas is nearby]. There’s great food... and hundreds of music venues that are mostly country but also [include] zodiacal, jazz, R&B....everything you want. It’s very laid back. And there are dance halls where you can line dance until the wee hours. It’s just a fun city. If you really don’t want to do the palm trees-mai tai thing, this is a great option.”



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Photo credit: ACVB Photo / Andy Schrader

From top left, clockwise: Radio City Music Hall, photo by Clayton Cotterell; High Line, photo by Julienne Schaer; Brooklyn Bridge, photo by Alexandra Neuber, NYC & Co.; Grand Central Station, photo by Alex Lopez, NYC & Co.


“This is the time to come. Summer is great, but let’s be frank, it can be warm and humid.”

Although a total departure from the other spots she suggested, Schultz decided that New York City was a spring break spot for those who have never been to The Big Apple. “It is unlike any other city in the universe,” she says, dreamily. “Springtime is a great time to be there because parks are blooming, people are in a great mood after the winter. [There’s] Broadway [and] incredible restaurants. There is so much going on... you can spend a lifetime here.”


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Luxury Destinations


Come here for the hotels The beach weather in Bermuda starts in March and April, and the hotels here are “exquisite”. If you have the budget, this is a worthy spring break destination. “It’s very British, there’s a lot of high tea. There’s a whole Bermudan proper British lifestyle. You know, it’s just like the UK, but with great beaches.”

Tips: Bermuda also has some of the highest rated golf courses in North America. And you might want to hang onto that golf cart as car rental is not permitted in Bermuda. Instead, plan to zip through the island on a small motor vehicle. (Vespa fans, take note!) 48


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Buenos Aires

“Another great urban getaway but a much more exotic, foreign continent option.” If you have a full week, consider taking an overnight flight to Buenos Aires. “It’s one of the most beautiful destinations in South America,” says Schultz. “Buenos Aires is so beautiful. You go out to dinner at a great steak house at 10:00 at night. They fill up at 10:30 or 11. Then you go to all the great tango clubs. You can go to 1 or 2 [clubs] every night for an entire week and never see but a fraction of them.” Por favor...


¡Más, Más! Extend your trip: “With a US ticket from Buenos Aires, you can get a free stop to Rio. It’s late summer, early autumn [there] and it’s very lovely and warm. In Rio, you can go to the beach, and then you can hop back on the plane... From Buenos Aires, you can also get a boat for a day and go into Uruguay, which is [an hour] across the river. There is a historical little town that is postcard- perfect.” The estancias (rural estates) and gauchos (cowboys) of South America await!


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Check it out...

For more ideas, check out the 1000 Places To See Before You Die app on your iPad.



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New Orleans

& All That Jazz


ew Orleans is one of my favorite US city. But it took awhile for the love to develop. Back in early 2004, I took my first trip to The Big Easy. As soon as I came out of the airport, I thought, Well...I’m digging this weather! While in the cab on the way to the hotel, I rolled down the back window as it was 60-something degrees outside (I can’t remember how cold it was at home, but suffice to say that it was a typical Chicago winter). I’m pretty sure the cab driver was shivering up front. Since we were there for a trade show, my coworkers and I stayed at one of the hotels close to the convention center. We also had most of our meals at restaurants in that area. Truth be told, while it was a decent experience, I just didn’t feel New Orleans. to

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Then, there was Mardi Gras. A few months after the initial trip, one of the trade shows coincided with the first night of Mardi Gras. A coworker insisted that we head over to Bourbon Street at the close of the show’s last day. So we went, and to this day, I remember every moment of it. That night, I was introduced to raw oysters (soooo good), hurricanes at Pat O’Briens (should have stopped at one), Huge Ass Beers and of course, beads coming off the balconies above. (For the record, I kept my shirt on.) That night, I knew I was falling in love with New Orleans. I paid the price the next day. New Orleans was never the same to me after that. After that trip, I became enamored with the cuisine, the easy going nature of the people, the weather (of course!)...EVERYTHING. Even though I can’t call myself an expert (despite needing both my hands and my feet to count the number of times I’ve visited), I can babble a long time about Nawlins. I flirt with the idea every now and then about packing up and living down there. Obviously, I haven't. I’ve come to believe, however, that New Orleans is that spring break fling that we all need. I can’t quite commit, but man, I cannot completely shut myself off from dabbling in its allure, simplicity and Big Easy charm.

PREVIOUS PAGE: Street musicians playing on Royal Street. ABOVE: Baby alligator held by tour operator during a swamp tour; TOP RIGHT: Jackson to fSquare; rom RIGHT: corner of Orleans and Bourbon St.; 52 OPPOSITE: Bourbon Street sign

“I was falling in love with New Orleans.� to

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Eat, drink & be Cajun!



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THIS PAGE (FROM TOP): Sign on Bourbon; Absinthe; Hurricane from Pat O’Brien’s; Platters of oysters from Felix’s. OPPOSITE PAGE: Brunch at Court of Two Sisters; Crawfish etoufee from Tabasco Shop in Avery Island, LA (If you have the time, The Tabasco Tour is worth the trip.); Beignets from Cafe Du Monde


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The Village Experience

Connecting Tourism with Social Responsibility 56


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design by Melissa Griffin

Kelly Campbell is the co-founder and Director of Socially Responsible Tourism and Development Projects for The Village Experience–a company that sells international products from womens cooperatives, charities, orphanges and other local creators in the developing world. “You can feel good that your money is going right back into the community each and every time you purchase one of our products,” Campbell says about The Village Experience.

Kelly with Kathy - one of the kids enrolled in TVE’s nursery school in Mbita, Kenya.

Kids from The Village Experience’s nursery school in Mbita, Kenya. The school has two classrooms and latrines. A third classroom is expected to open this year.

How did you come up with the idea? My sister, Anne Campbell, and myself had traveled to many places for a variety of reasons and what we always came across were communities in need of an opportunity, women in need of a market for their goods, and people to spread the word that tourism was alive in their country. We put our heads together to try and come up with a holistic model to best help the people who had touched our hearts around the world and this is what we came up with: A fair trade retail and wholesale business to create a permanent market. A socially responsible tourism business based on creating jobs and pumping money into the local community. A non-profit, known as The Village Cooperative, to raise funds for largescale development projects such as medical centers, schools, and small businesses. to

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What has been the positive side to starting this type of business? The positive side is that everyday we get to wake up and spend the day being a voice for so many people who don’t have one. We get to design, market, sell, and create relationships with women artisans around the world. We get to operate trips to connect people from the developed world to the developing world and watch as those relationships grow and blossom. Most importantly, we get to see improvements in the standard of living for so many people that are so incredibly dear to us – from Kenya and Thailand to Guatemala and Haiti and beyond. Disadvantages? It can sometimes feel as though the weight of the world is squarely resting upon your shoulders. It can be trying to find funding and volunteers in these economic times, but this is when the rest of the world needs us most. What’s been the biggest surprise you’ve encountered since you started The Village Experience? How quickly we have grown in our programming and the impact we have made. I never imagined that we could have our own medical center, nursery school, vocational skills training center, women’s artisans groups, and multiple income-generating businesses around the world in such a short time. Sometimes I have to just step back, breathe, and take in everything we have achieved. My sister and I are both working harder than we ever had, but in our minds, we are living the dream. When people buy your products, where does their money to go? We pay fair living wages to all of our artisan groups around the world. We even throw in a little extra to help with school fees, feeding programs, housing, healthcare, or whatever the most pressing need at that time may be. On top of that, we fundraise through The Village Cooperative to help on a much larger scale. You can feel good that your money is going right back into the community each and every time you purchase one of our products. Describe what people can expect when they’re going on a trip with The Village Experience.

Above: Anne with locals in the Masai Mara in Kenya. Below, from left: TVE’s health clinic in Kenya; Children in front of one of the schools TVE will start supporting through its socially responsible trips to Uganda; Women surrounding the girl in the middle. Wangari lives in the IDP Camp in Kenya that TVE converted to an eco-village.

Our socially responsible tourism model is based on the following: • Locally owned and operated hotels • Fair wages paid to all guides, translators, and drivers • Volunteer elements throughout the trip • Focus on bringing awareness to a social justice issue A donation is priced into each person that travels with us to ensure we leave behind a sustainable project with each trip. You should travel with The Village Experience because we are making a positive impact on the communities we travel to and we can offer you so much more than a “tourist trip” – we offer you a true connection. How do the locals typically receive you when you first come in and “set up shop”? We don’t come in and set up shop. We are invited into a community before we ever start working there. We make connections through our travels, our buying trips, travel shows, our international networks, and

practice with. They immediately started making aprons and experimenting with styles and patterns. Whenever we get them in the store, I wish for them to sell as fast as possible so that we can order more and continue helping to uplift this village I hold so close to my heart.

Above: Makeup bag created by a women’s group in Thailand as part of a tsunami-relief project. Below, from left: This is a group in Kenya called The Black Sheep. TVE bought them wool spinners so that they could spin their own wool to create clothing, hats, scarfs, and gloves; Kelly and The Black Sheep women with their finished products; A Kenyan woman making ceramic beads for jewelry in rural Kenya.

so on. Organizations also find us through our website and Facebook and ask us to partner with them.
Once the invitation has been extended and we are able to visit the site ourselves and look into the possibility of a partnership, the community and The Village Experience become family. Both TVE members and our travelers are welcomed with opened arms and shown unbelievable hospitality. Your best selling product? Our best selling products are our makeup bags made by a women’s group in Khao Lak, Thailand. This is a tsunami relief project so the story is amazing. Our customers like this product because of the story, the price point, its functionality, and the bright colors and designs. What do you wish was the best selling product? We have some aprons being made by my favorite group to work with in Kenya. This village is located on the shores of Lake Victoria in a tiny town called Mbita. It is extremely isolated and lacks many basic resources. We work with 30 widows who take care of 60 orphans. We purchased 3 sewing machines for them and fabric to

I believe you’re currently in nine countries. Are there any plans for expansion? We are currently heavily involved in Kenya, Thailand, Haiti, and Guatemala. We have some smaller programs in India, Uganda, Jordan, and South Africa. We source products from over 30 countries though and are always on the lookout for creative, beautiful products. We can design customized travel programs for organizations anywhere in the developing world. Next on my list is Indonesia – the handicrafts, markets, and cultural heritage are especially appealing to me. You measure success by.... How many women artisans we can uplift. How many communities we can improve standards of living for. How many Westerners we can expose to social justice issues. Where are you at this moment? Our main offices and retail store are located in Indianapolis, Indiana. This is just a “home base” for me as I am usually in 10-12 countries a year, traveling 2-3 times per month. We sell online as well. Where will you be for Spring Break? The Village Experience will be in Haiti for Spring Break! We would love to help plan a spring break for a school or family, especially to Guatemala or Haiti.

TVE is planning spring and summer trips to Haiti, Thailand and Kenya, and you can join them! To see a sample itinerary of Kelly’s latest trip to Haiti, visit here. For more information on The Village Experience:

“I never imagined that we could have our own medical center, nursery school, vocational 1

skills training center, women’s artisans groups, and multiple incomegenerating businesses around the world in such a short time. Sometimes I have to just step back, breathe, and take in everything we have achieved. My sister and I are both working harder than we ever had, but in


our minds, we are living


the dream.” 4

This page: 1. Ethiopian woman amongst woven scarfs, part of an artisan group TVE works with. 2. Group with the locals in Haiti. 3. The new vocational skills training center in Nakuru, Kenya. TVE opened it last year. 4. Artisian with finished wine totes (Thailand).

Opposite page: 5. TVE’s product display at a holiday market event. 6. Anne (bottom row, left) and Kelly (top row, center) with TVE’s Thai artisans. Most of TVE’s product-oriented projects occur in Thailand. 7. Women artisans in Kenya. 8. Women’s Co-op in Guatemala selling scarves. 9. Aprons created by a group of 30 widows who call themselves the Live Long Self Help Widows Group. The group takes care of over 60 orphans in Kenya.

5 6



“We get to design, market, sell, and create relationships with women artisans around the world. We get to operate trips to connect people from the developed world to the developing world and watch as those relationships grow and blossom. Most importantly, we get to


see improvements in the standard of living for so many people that are so incredibly dear to us – from Kenya and

Thailand to Guatemala and Haiti and beyond.�

spring break then & now

the college years

the years that follow 62


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emember the spring break of years’ past? It was full of sun, partying into the late hours with other co-eds and filling the week with stories that you still think about to this day. Ah, those were the good ole days. To commemorate the spring break of your college past, let’s reflect on that week and at the same time, celebrate the type of spring breaks we enjoy now. (And to our current co-ed readers, we live vicariously through you.)


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MTV When I was in college, the MTV spring break specials would air the week before my school scheduled us for break. So while I - and the rest of the campus - were trying to close the books before our week-long vacation, we'd get a peek into others already at it. And were they at it! There were surfer shorts, bikinis, tan bodies, one hit wonders (anyone remember The Thong Song?) that walked up and down the MTV stage. If you weren’t there, you certainly wanted to be.

image: MTV

image: MTV 64


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The Travel now: Channel

image: The Travel Channel

Today, we have The Travel Channel. Is it fun to watch people vacationing or experiencing their own adventure? The verdict is still out, but we don’t mind a little Samantha Brown from time to time. (A little Anthony never hurt anyone either.) to

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Granted, there are still a lot of people who do body shots post-college (“Jersey Shore” might be the best example). I’m not here to judge. I’ll just say, people do it and if you’re having fun, have at it. (Try to avoid cameras at all cost. You don’t want this haunting you years down the line.)


While my male counterparts might miss the days of body shots, I will take my drinks pool-side, thank you very much.


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The body insecurities might have been there way back when, but it only took a week to drop 10 pounds. So with that, little coverage worked just fine during spring break. When in Cancun do as they do, right?



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Who’s to say we can’t wear what our 20-year-old selves would wear? Maybe we will. Maybe we won’t. Now it’s all about covering up. You spent good money on your cute cover up – you want someone to notice, damnit. (But take a page out of your co-ed days: if you want admirers, lose the cover up.)


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Cool Awakenings What One Unbrave Girl Did on Her Spring Break



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design by Melissa Griffin

Harbin, China

Sally Thelen is a teacher, writer, performer & selfproclaimed professional scaredy cat who had a spring break that was probably a little different than yours. Sally, of the popular her Unbrave Girl blog, spent spring break in Harbin, China

So....what did you do for Spring Break?

I currently teach at a university in China, so my spring break was not your typical spring break like we have in North America. The university takes off for the Chinese New Year, which is also called “Spring Festival.” So, technically, my “spring break” was from mid-January to mid-February – yeah, I know, not exactly spring-like, if you ask me, especially since it happened to be freezing here at that time!

I’d have to say my favorite part was going to the Harbin Ice and Snow World, which has lots of buildings and large sculptures made out of ice. At night all the sculptures are lit up. It’s kind of like Disney World – but made of ice. They even had princesses who ride around in horse carriages and put on a stage show – kind of like Disney princesses, but they wear lots more layers. What did you like least about it? Definitely the temperature! I’m used to cold weather, having grown up in Buffalo, NY, but this was really, really, really cold. My fingers were constantly going numb (despite my two gloves!), so it was hard to take pictures. What was the best thing you ate? Harbin is really close to Russia and has a lot of Russian influences in its culture and cuisine. You can see Russian sausages and bread at all the markets, and there are Russian restaurants all over the city. But, as much as I love bread and sausage, I preferred the Chinese food I had there – especially the dumplings. Oh man, I had some good dumplings while I was there! Would you do it again?

Hmm… I’m not sure. Don’t get me wrong. I had a great time in Harbin. It was probably the best trip I’ve taken so far in China. The people were super friendly. The food And to make things even less spring-like, I decided to was amazing. The city was really beautiful, and the fesspend part of my break in Harbin. Harbin is in Northern tival was super fun. But there are so many other places I China and is about as close as you can get to Siberia withhaven’t been to yet in China that I’d really like to get to. out actually being in Siberia. I pretty much had to wear It seems silly to go back to five layers of clothing every Sally documents her dumpling addiction. time I left my hotel room. the same city to see the same festival again. Why did you pick this locaI wouldn’t mind going back to tion? Harbin in the summer to see Harbin has one of the world’s a different (warmer!) side of largest snow and ice festivals. Harbin. Plus, they have a big The festival takes place for music festival there during the whole month of January the summer months, which and part of February. During would be cool to check out. that time, snow artists from And, man, I’d love to get all over the world come to some more Harbin dumplings! compete in the Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Where will we finding you Art Fair. The city also has two this spring break? other parks that are full of Once my semester starts back ice sculptures. Plus, you can up in February, I don’t have find ice sculptures on almost a lot of time off until the every street corner. There’s summer – just a few one-day also lots of other wintery public holidays and weekactivities going on– like ice ends. Right now I have plans skating and sledding. And to go to Hong Kong at the because it’s China, there are beginning of March to perfireworks pretty much every form in a comedy festival, but single night. I’m not sure what else I’ll be up to this spring. I’m open to What did you enjoy most about it? suggestions!

“At night all the sculptures are lit up. It’s kind of like Disney World–but made of ice.”



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More Sally:


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Ooooo ..... I want to take you ..... 74


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design by Melissa Griffin

Jen Agrawal is an accountant from Chicago, who makes the time and effort to travel several times a year. She and her husband have visited Alaska, South Africa, Brazil and Australia - amongst several other vacation spots - in the last 24 months. At the moment, they don’t show any signs of slowing down. Except when it comes to relaxing in the Caribbean. So....what did you do last spring break? [My husband and I] went to Aruba last year. Why did you pick this location? We both had always wanted to go there and were thinking of going there for a few years, but it never materialized. We finally made plans to escape the winter and visited the beautiful island. What did you enjoy most about it? We really liked that it was a small island that it didn’t take long to drive around the entire island. And the fact that it wasn’t a very busy island, made relaxing much more enjoyable!

What did you like least about it? It was very windy in the evenings due to it’s location in the Caribbean Sea… there are no hurricanes, but it gets quite cool in the evenings… pack a light jacket. What was the best thing you ate? Seafood, fresh fruit, and gazpacho. What was the best thing you bought? A dinner at a place called Screaming Eagle – our dinner was served to us in ‘bed’. Beautiful canopy beds strewn with white pillows, romantic music and lighting and white chiffon draping. Would you do it again? In a heartbeat. Aruba is definitely not your typical Caribbean destination with tons of visitors, which is alluring to those that want to be away from crowds. Where will we finding you this spring break? We are planning a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico this spring.

A romantic dinner at Screaming Eagle.


Aruba is definitely not your typical Caribbean destination with tons of visitors, which is alluring to those that want to be away from crowds.


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Home Alone design by Melissa Griffin 78


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Zoe Triantafillou is a freelance video producer from Chicago,who enjoys traveling. Instead of going to Greece (as she always seems to do!), she opted to head home to New Hampshire for her last spring break. A surprising, but wellchosen destination!

What did you like least about it? It’s still pretty cold in March/April. I thought I wouldn’t need a jacket and it started snowing!

So....what did you do last spring break? Last spring break I visited New Hampshire, where I grew up. I was house sitting for my mom who went on a wonderful cruise!

What was the best thing you bought? Best thing I bought was a new pair of hiking boots to climb Mt. Monadnock which happens to be the most climbed mountain in the States–maybe it’s the world (I can’t remember). But it was fantastic, I could’ve stayed up there for hours. You can hike it in the summer and winter months.

Why did you pick this location? I think as we get older we realize how good we “had it” back in the day. Going home is more like a vacation to me now. We joke and say it’s my “Camp David”. What did you enjoy most about it? I love smelling the pine trees in the air the minute I get out of the airport. I love being surrounded by trees and quaint little towns where everyone knows your name. Sunday driving the back roads and enjoying the views from all the mountain tops I took for granted when I was younger.

opposite page: Zoe in Keene Town Square (Keene was in the movie Jumanji and is locally known for all it’s roundabouts!) above: Zoe on top of Mt. Monadnock

What was the best thing you ate? Hands down, it’s pizza from the Pizza Peddler. It’s what I call East Coast style pizza, nothing like Chicago pizza at all. The dough is more of a pan pizza, with a mix of cheeses and I love all the veggies minus the mushrooms!

Would you do it again? Of course I would, who said you can never go home again? ;) Where will we finding you this spring break? This year it will be more of an international flavor I think, either a visit to my sister in England OR a very long over due beach vacation somewhere south.

A church in Hancock, NH. “It’s a “great little town in [the] summer and winter. They have a bed and breakfast there as well as a great cafe with home made fresh bread. In the summer they have a Farmer’s Market every Saturday,” Zoe says.


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Standing at 3,165 feet and open year round, Mt. Monadnock is one of the most frequently climbed mountains in the world.



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We joke and say it’s my ‘Camp David’.


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What She Wore Maxi’d Out

Ahhhhh....the maxi dress. It’s a flattering look and more importantly, it’s really comfortable. We’re convinced that you could sleep in it! (Try it if you must.) With Love From CA Blues Boys Wafer Sunglasses

$14.50 Pacific Sunwear

Lightly Padded Bra Top Maxi Dress $88 Victoria’s Secret

Open Circle Necklace

$14.97 Charming Charlie

AnnaLynn M

cCord Hardware Handle Hobo $34.93 Express

Coconuts Queenie Sandal $44.95

Image: Bauer Griffin (



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Get the look

It’s spring. Let’s stop hibernating in our longsleeves and long-legged attire. It’s time to start exposing body parts. But not too much too soon. (There’s no need to shock the system.) Hello, Yellow!

After wearing out all the grays and blacks this winter, it’s time to brighten up your closet. If you’re not into bright colors, try matching it with (what else) one of your worn out gray or black piece.

Oversized Rectangle Frame

$55 Jessica Simpson Collection

3/4-Sleeve Button-Tab Top $29.94 Old Navy

Baja Pleated Tweed Skirt

$735 Proenza Schouler

on s r e h P c a M Elle Red-beaded Diego Flats

$55.97 Two Lips

Image: Benross/


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Face protection With the sun out, all you want to do is add a little color and take in as much of the warmth as you can. But we all know about the negative effects of the sun. (Sigh.) All we’re asking is that you put your best face forward and make sure it always has a layer of protection. Need a place to start? Read on.



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Last year Consumer Reports tested 22 different sun screen lotions to find the best performing brands. Below are some of the products that tested well. Notice the price tag on these? Yes, cheaper - in this case- did better.

Coppertone Sport Sunblock Stick, SPF 30, 0.6-Ounce Sticks (Pack of 3), $14.01

Banana Boat Sport Faces Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 (3 oz.), $8.99

Carry Extra Protection

Summer Straw Hat $34.50 J.Crew

Burnt out? aloe: Mother Nature got this one right. If you’re using a plant or an ointment, leave in the fridge before using. The cooling effect will help.



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Who says safety is first? Psh. Looking cute is the bigger priority, is it not?

Laundry by Shell Segal ‘Rachel’ Sun Hat $68.00 Nordstrom

Jeanne Simmons Tan White 8’’ Wide Large Brim Straw Beach Sun Floppy Hat $26.29 Sears

Ugh, you got sunburnt. Not only do you look like your lobster dinner, you are hurting a little. Let’s remedy that....


Aspirin always helps one way or another. Take 1-2 tablets within the first 24 hours to alleviate the pain.

© Akud |

P.S. Don’t spray these products directly on your face! Instead, spray into your hand and then rub onto your face.

up & up Sport Sunscreen Continuous Spray Twinpack SPF 30 (2-6 oz.), $9.44 Target

CVS Fast Cover Continuous Lotion Spray Sport Sunscreen SPF 30 (6 oz), &7.99


No worries. Sit under a beach umbrella. (BONUS: It’s the best way to people watch.)

SW Celebrity Style #511,

So how much sunblock do you actually need? An ounce (a full shot glass) should be enough to cover all the exposed area of your body. For full effect, apply 15 minutes before heading outdoors. (And yes, it’s a tad annoying but you’ll need to reapply it every 2 hours.)

Rounded Square, $350.00 MARNI

$12.71 Sunglass Warehouse

F0030 Butterfly Sunglasses $5.80 Forever 21

Black large round sunglasses, $32.00 Topshop



Tannins in tea will help your sunburn. Make the tea, wait for it to cool and then apply. (Feel free to drink leftover.)


Apply the plain yogurt. Keep on skin for a few minutes before rinsing.

© Jabiru |


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Aqui 7 things you should bring home with you from Mexico



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Let’s start this list off right with a little chocolate.


Have you ever tried to offer Swiss Miss as a cocoa option to someone who has had Mexican hot chocolate? It’s not pretty. Go to the grocery store for some Abuelito and you’ll see what the fuss is about. But if you’re in Mexico, you’d be making a mistake not to pick up some chocolate. While you’re at it, you might also want to consider a Molinillo (the hot chocolate wood mixer pictured in the background).


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Dos. Tequila

Tequila has had a bad reputation for a few years, but it’s coming into its own. Good tequila, the connoisseurs insist, won’t give you a hangover. You should want to sip it (although no one is going to hurt you for shooting it). If you don’t want to savor it, keep it and use it in a future margarita recipe. Want to know how to a little more about the stuff? Jump over to page 96.



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If you’re willing to pay a pretty dime for this at the houseware stores here in the States, you might as well pick up some of these colorful bowls, and plates to cut out the middle man. (I regret passing on this set.)


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Cuatro. Glasses

The glasswork in Mexico is beautiful and at the same time, very affordable. Make sure you have room and a bit of cushion in your suitcase to bring these home. 92


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Cinco. Mexican Blouses (and other attire)

Mexican attire is unique and pops up in fashion magazines every few seasons. Why not get ahead of the game and go straight for the authentic garments? If nothing else, you’ll have something to wear to that upcoming Cinco de Mayo party. (It probably wouldn’t hurt to look into buying a sombrero as well.)


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Cool Artwork

I’m a proponent of supporting the local tourism markets. I especially love the idea of bringing art home because it adds an exotic element that you might not have otherwise. Plus, what’s a better conversation starter than having someone ask, “Where did you get that from?”


Capture the Memories.

It should go without saying that you should purchase the things that will make you remember the country. Maybe it’s a picture frame, magnet and other tschotske items. For me, it’s this paper weight I bought after leaving Teotihuacan the pyramids outside of Mexico City. It doesn’t look very Mexican, but I think about the trip everytime I look at it.


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and other ways to enjoy tequila



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TEQUILA! In the past few tears, tequila has been working to reverse its reputation as a shoot-it-and-get-drunk-fast drink. These days, more people are celebrating this Mexican spirit. While there are those who still swear they can’t drink tequila, Adam Geenen - the General Manager of Salud Tequila Lounge in Chicago - reasons that “people don’t like it because they’ve been going for the lower quality tequila.” So if you’re looking to find your way back to tequila, here are some things to keep in mind: MUY IMPORTANTE. “The most important thing is to make sure it’s made of 100% agave tequila,” Adam says. “It’s personal preference at that point.” (His tequila preferences? That would include Chincao, Corralejo, Don Julio, El Tesoro, Espolon and Fortaleza.) SO WHAT IS YOUR TYPE? There are different types of tequila that include blanco, reposado, añejo and extra añejo. But remember: none of this matters unless the tequila is made of 100% agave tequila. SIP & SAVOUR. “The añejo and extra añejo work best with this,” Adam states. Enjoy the spirit on its own, or use the lime and salt if that’s more your speed. BUT....If you’re still not into tequila, ease into it with a cocktail (“A good cocktail,” Adam emphasizes). Try his recipe for La Paloma (below).


2 oz tequila (traditionally made with blanco or reposado) juice of 1/2 lime grapefruit-flavored soda (Squirt will also work) Take a tall glass and dip the rim onto a plate of salt (moisten the rim with lime so that the salt will stick). Mix the tequila and lime in the glass. Top the concoction with the soda. Add ice. ¡Salud! to

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Mmm.... Cerveza. Can’t make it to Mexico this year? Well, if Mohammed can’t go to Mexico, then bring Mexico to Mohammed. Or at least check to see if your local grocery store carries any of these Mexican beers.* Bring them home and drink to your Mexico-bound trip next year. Cheers!

to *If you’re 21 and older.

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ยกDelicioso! A few Mexican favorites



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If you’re a seafood lover, then it’s a given that you’ll like ceviche - a dish that combines seafood cured in lime juice with salsa ingredients. Serve it with some tortilla [chips] and avocado and you have yourself a meal. Shrimp Ceviche 1 lb shrimp 6-8 limes, juiced 1/2 red onion, chopped 2 tomatoes, chopped 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped 1 serrano pepper, chopped (optional) salt & pepper, to taste Peel & devein the shrimp. Cut the shrimp into small chunks. In a bowl, cover the shrimp with the lime juice. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes (or until the shrimp starts to “cook” in the juice). Add the onion, tomatoes, cilantro and serrano. Mix. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. Add salt & pepper to taste.


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Hot Weather, Hot Soup

Despite the 90-degree temperature, I once found myself in a crowded food stall in Mexico, enjoying a bowl of caldo de mariscos (or seafood soup) with many of the locals. Enjoy this with a “Coca” (Coke) and you’ll be in good company. Caldo de mariscos 3 tablespoons oil 9 cups water* 1 onion 1 lb white fish 3 cloves garlic 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 jalapeño, chopped 1 cup frozen squid 2 poblano peppers, chopped salt & pepper, to taste 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 cup cilantro, chopped 28 oz can crushed tomatoes Heat oil and add garlic. Cook until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Add onion and cook until soft. Add jalapeño and poblano. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add cumin, 2 cups of the water and fish. Bring to boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and remaining water. Bring to boil and then simmer for another 20 minutes. Add shrimp and squid. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes. Add cilantro. Use salt & pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro, lime wedges and chopped onions. Serve with tortilla. Don’t forget the “Coca”. *Fish stock or another type of broth will also work.


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Tamales Made on special occasions and somewhat time consuming. But well worth the effort. Tamales with Poblano Peppers for the masa for the filling 2 cups masa 2 tablespoons olive oil 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder 2 poblano peppers 1 teaspoon salt 1 large tomato 2 cups vegetable broth, warmed 3 garlic cloves 1 cup lard or butter* 2 green onions 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon taco seasoning salt & pepper, to taste Soak 25 corn husks in warm water for about 30 minutes. (This recipe will make about 15-20 tamales, but you should soak about 25 husks in case you need extras.) For the masa, mix all the ingredients together until it develops the consistency of peanut butter. Place aside when done. For the filling, heat oil and add garlic and onions. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Add peppers. Cook until soft. Add tomatoes and taco seasoning. Cook until tomatoes are broken down (about 10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. To make the tamale, take a corn husk and spread the masa about 2/3 from the right edge toward the center (leave about an inch on the bottom and top edges, so that you can tie the ends). Add a spoonful of filling in the center of the masa. Close the tamale by rolling the right edge toward the center. Bring the left edge over. Tie ends with strips of the husk. Add upright to the steam basket. (All the tamales should stand upright for even cooking.) Steam all the tamales for 2 hours. Check every 20-30 minutes to make sure there is water in the pot (the process tends to boil the water dry). Whew! *I used 1/2 cup of olive oil and that seemed to work as well. to

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Mexican Cookbooks If you’re looking for a Mexican cookbook, you’ll be burdened many options on Amazon or at your local bookstore. Just to get you started, here are some that we think are worth a look. (As you can see, we’re fans of Rick Bayless.)

A few others to consider:



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Book It!

Most students will put their books away in the name of spring break. The rest of us, however, find that a book goes hand-in-hand with our vacation plans. If you’re heading somewhere this spring break - or even if you’re staying put - consider these reading recommendations from fellow travel enthusiasts.

Novel Reads

Recommended by: Sally, Unbrave girl Probably the best book I read while traveling was Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. The book is huge, so I brought it along with me on a one-month trip to Thailand. I figured it would take me the entire month to read, but it was so engrossing it took me less than a week to read. Granted, I spent way too much time holed up in my hotel room reading that book when I should have been out exploring. But I just couldn’t help myself. I had to know what was going to happen next! At the moment I’m reading Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. It’s set in Ethiopia and has a really compelling story line. I love books that transport you to a different time and place – this book definitely does that.

A Memoir

Recommended by: Zoe, Freelance Videographer Right now, I’m reading The Woman Who Fell From the Sky [by Jennifer Steil]. It’s a memoir of a American woman who ends up moving to Yemen to run a newspaper there. It reminds me of my time in Athens trying to get a job.



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Nobel Causes

Recommended by: Kelly, The Village experience

Give a Little: How Your Small Donations Can Transform Our World by Wendy Smith

The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder

Mixing Business and Pleasure

Recommended by: Jen, Accountant The last good book that I read was Strength Finders 2.0 [by Tom Rath]. I am looking forward to reading The Help [by Kathern Stockett]!


pleasure Best Sellers

Recommended by: Gerard and Kieu, GQ Tripping

Gerard’s Pick

Kieu’s Pick


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Kieu, GQ Tripping Does a hitch-hiker in New Zealand count?

Jen, Accountant Wine. You can relive your trip memories with a meal and glass of vino. © Cocoalex |

Kelly, The Village experience My voodoo painting from my first trip to Haiti. It’s entitled “World in a Tornado” – I was drawn to it because many times my world does seem to resemble a tornado.

Editor’s Note: Yes, I think it does. 112


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Sally, Unbrave girl I don’t tend to buy many souvenirs as I move so much. I do sometimes splurge on jewelry as it’s easy to carry and is a great way to remember a trip. Plus, I love sparkly stuff! I have a pair of silver, filigreed earrings [pictured right] that I bought in Bali a couple years ago, which I wear almost everyday. I also once bought a stuffed piranha for a friend while I was in the Brazilian Amazon. A stuffed piranha isn’t nearly as practical or portable as jewelry, but it did make for a fun gift. I was a bit worried I wouldn’t get through customs with it, though!

Zoe, Freelance Videographer I always say the best souvenirs are my pictures/videos and my memories.

Diana, To & From Editor I realize it’s not for everyone, but I bought a series of bathroom artwork from an artist named Lisa Trapani, who sets up her displays along Jackson Square in New Orleans. When I was strolling through the area, I couldn’t resist the bold colors and quirky characters. And yes, this painting is hanging in my bathroom at home!

Other than that I love my Popener from Rome! (It’s a bottle opener with the POPE on it!) to

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The Hangover With a break from real life, it’s just a little too easy to get excessive with the drinking when you’re on vacation. When you’ve gone a little overboard, try some of the suggestions below to deal with that nasty, little hangover.

Let’s Start with Prevention.

I’d love to tell you not to go too crazy with the drinking in the first place. But you’re on vacation! So I’ll advise you to have a glass of water between drinks, and eat before you go to bed. Doing both might help to minimize the pain.

Sleep It Off.

Just don’t do it at the dinner table!

Drink water.

Tons of it. Mix it up with a sports drink. (My go-to is purple Gatorade. Nothing seems to work better.) Orange juice - or something amped up with Vitamin C - also works well.


Listen to your body. If you don’t normally want one, but are suddenly craving a Slinger [the dish pictured above] from Courtesy Diner in St. Louis, have at it. It might just be the perfect remedy (as greasy food tends to be). If your body is moving in the opposite direction and asking for fruit, go with it.

I don’t recommend this but.....

Some people swear by the hair of the dog. If you opt to do this, more power to you. There’s a reason Bloody Marys are a popular brunch offering. 114


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Flying into spring....

As he flew over the Bahamas, there was only one thought in his head: “I was pretending to be Superman.�


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Until next time.. .

To & From, Issue One  

The premiere issue of our travel lifestyle magazine includes "10 Places to Spring Break Before You Die" (pg 38) based on an interview with P...

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