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W I N E&D I N E

TRAVEL PREMIERE ISSUE

FALL 2013

AMSTERDAM The Windmills of Zaanse Schans The Anne Frank House

NEW CALEDONIA COLORADO FOOD DUDES WALKING HADRIAN’S WALL GUADALUPE VALLEY WINE COUNTRY GREAT DESTINATIONS : TRULY GRAND THE WIZARD OF ADDISON

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COVER PHOTO: While walking around central Amsterdam we came across this powerful scene of majestic buildings flanking one of the major canal transit hubs used mostly for tour boats. I took this and the other photos in the Amsterdam feature section with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 camera . - Ron James

NEXT EDITION | WINTER 2013

SPECIAL SECTION Essential London London for Foodies Chelsea Flower Show Steam Trains of Wales Exploring England’s Isles of Scilly Attending Oxford U on My Vacation Henry VIII’s Hampton Court + PANAMA CANAL CRUISING, LAS CALETAS: JOHN HUSTON’S PRIVATE HIDEAWAY, IDAHO’S SAWTOOTH MOUNTAINS, READER PHOTOS & MORE

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WELCOME

RON JAMES

publisher/executive editor Ron James is the "wine and food guy." He is an award-winning veteran food and wine journalist., television producer and radio personality. He began his journalism career in 1973 and pioneered online media beginning in 1994 with the first major online city publication, San Diego Magazine. He helped found Time Warner's Road Runner network and led the San Diego UnionTribune's online editorial efforts for nearly a decade. The native Californian's nationally syndicated wine and food columns have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world.

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elcome to the premiere edition of Wine Dine & Travel magazine - written and published by veteran professional journalists who have a passion for travel and great food. Our goal is to enlighten and entertain readers and travelers who delight in exploring our planet. WD&T is a logical extension of our award-winning-regional online magazine Wine & Dine San Diego. We will continue to cover Southern California and the West Coast, but have extended our editorial horizons globally. WD&T will publish quarterly, mainly because everyone involved in this project travels – a lot. So two months travel and one month production seems quite civilized to us. The website, www.winedineandtravel. com, however, will be updated regularly with real-time coverage of our travel and culinary adventures. Our magazine is free on all platforms through our online distribution partners. There are also special free apps for iPad and iPhone. But for many, print is still the gold standard. Our technology partner MagCloud offers an innovative print process that delivers our readers a glossy, perfect-bound magazine - just like the ones on newsstands. We feel this broad distribution strategy serves our readers best for this time of sweeping technological and social change.

He is passionate about great wine and food and enthusiastically enjoys them every day!

MARY JAMES

publisher/editor

Mary Hellman James is an awardwinning San Diego journalist and editor. After a 29-year-career with the San Diego Union-Tribune, including 13 years as Home and Garden editor, James currently is a freelance garden writer and a columnist for San Diego HomeGarden/Lifestyles magazine. She also is executive editor of California Garden, the award-winning 102-year-old magazine published by the San Diego Floral Association. She and her husband, Ron James, travel extensively. Upcoming this year is a Canada - New England -- New York cruise and a five-week stay in India and Nepal.

In the end, neither technology nor distribution will make us successful. Readers will buy the magazine or read the digital version because of the quality of the stories and features. We couldn’t deliver that without our great contributors – friends and journalistic colleagues who are award-winning, experienced and expert travel, food and wine writers. (Learn more about them all on the next page.) We hope you enjoy our new magazine and will consider it to be a valued resource in planning your journeys. Like travel, publishing is an adventure - and we hope you enjoy the ride as much as we do.

Ron & Mary James

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MEET OUR WD&T CONTRIBUTORS Alison DaRosa Alison DaRosa is a six-time winner of the Lowell Thomas Gold Award for travel writing, the most prestigious prize in travel journalism. She served 15 years as Travel Editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune. She was the award-winning editor of the San Diego News Network Travel Page. She produces and edits the San Diego Essential Guide, a highly rated and continually updated travel app for mobile devices. Alison is a regular freelance contributor to the travel sections of U-T San Diego, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today.

Sharon Whitley Larsen Sharon Whitley Larsen’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including Los Angeles Times Magazine, U-T San Diego, Reader’s Digest (including 19 international editions), and Creators Syndicate. She’s also a contributor to several Chicken Soup for the Soul editions. Although she enjoys writing essays, oped, and people features, her favorite topic is travel (favorite destination London). With passport in hand, she’s always ready for the next adventure!

Carl H. Larsen Carl H. Larsen is a veteran journalist based in San Diego. He now focuses on travel writing, and is summoned to pull out his notebook whenever there’s the plaintive cry of a steam locomotive nearby. His hike along Hadrian’s Wall was a bit off character, but allowed for an exploration of remote pubs and welcoming B&Bs. In San Diego, he is a college-extension instructor who has led courses on the Titanic and the popular TV series “Downton Abbey.”

John Alongé Popularly known as the Wine Heretic, John Alongé is a well-respected “educational entertainer” on food and wine topics with well over 1,000 corporate presentations on his résumé. He has written a variety of articles for international wine publications and is oft-quoted in food and wine industry trade journals. Alongé began his career working in the vineyards of the Loire Valley in France. He has studied at both the Ecole d’Oenologie in Bordeaux as well as UC Davis Extension in viticulture and viniculture. Additionally, he teaches wine business and tasting classes at San Diego State University Extended Studies. The Wine Heretic’s Bible, Alongé’s latest book, offers “Plain English Advice for the Casual Wino”.

Julia Weiler Julia Weiler is a correspondent who covers San Diego for Forbes Travel Guide. Her wanderlust has led her on far-flung adventures, like housesitting in Fiji, backpacking through Southeast Asia, road-tripping in Mexico and building homes in Papua New Guinea with Habitat for Humanity. Her stories are published in an award-winning series of humorous travel anthologies, including Sand in My Bra. Weiler contributes to Ocean Home Magazine and is a correspondent for the website Wine and Dine San Diego. When not wandering or writing, she likes surfing Southern California’s best breaks.

Robert Whitley Robert Whitley writes the syndicated “Wine Talk” column for Creators Syndicate and is publisher of the online wine magazine, Wine Review Online. Whitley frequently serves as a judge at wine competitions around the world, including Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, Sunset Magazine International and the Dallas Morning News TexSom wine competitions. Robert also operates four major international wine competitions in San Diego: Critics Challenge, Winemaker Challenge, Sommelier Challenge and the San Diego International.

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PUBLISHERS Ron & Mary James EXECUTIVE EDITOR Ron James EDITOR Mary James CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Julia Weiler John AlongĂŠ Sharon Whitley Larsen Carl Larsen Alison DaRosa Robert Whitley Denise Jones Frank Mangio

WINEDINEANDTRAVEL.COM ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/EDITOR Photo by Ron James

David Nelson CONTACT editor@winedineandtravel.com Wine Dine & Travel Magazine is a Wine Country Interactive Inc. company @ 2013

A large enthusiastic Copacabana Beach local with a full body skeletal tattoo just found out about our magazine. He celebrates by doing a rather scary dance with coconut shells. winedineandtravel.com | 5


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Young Thomas Hinderhofer never even considered a career as a cruise ship officer. And even though it hadn’t crossed his mind, practically everything he did in his middle and high school life was preparing him for just that.

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Home Ranch is a dude ranch with a difference. Although the room was log cabin rustic, the communal table settings were as beautifully sophisticated as those in trendy restaurants on either coast.

GRAND DESTINATIONS

It was in 1942 that a young Jewish girl received a redchecked diary for her 13th birthday. That gift became world-famous, a powerful World War II document .

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FOOD DUDES

A city that has the perfect blend of beauty, history, architecture, culture, and interesting people. And it had one other thing that puts a city on our return list – energy. Amsterdam has it in spades..

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A NAUTICAL NATURAL

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ANNE FRANK HOUSE

AMSTERDAM

CONTENTS

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The Grand Del Mar was named California’s #1 Resort in Travel + Leisure’s 2013 World’s Best Awards, and while I was mildly discouraged to learn of it’s off-the-beach location, I decided to go forward with the booking. I couldn’t have made a better choice.


New Caladonia offers miles of powdery white sand beaches and a sea in so many shades of blue – from pale turquoise to polished lapis, from cerulean to cobalt – that it defies description.

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Amazing photos taken by our readers. They are traveling the globe, and recording their adventures in surprisingly creative ways.

WALKING HADRIAN’S WALL

On all levels, a visit to the Guadalupe Valley in Baja, ninety minutes from the US-Mexico border, can provide a rewarding winecountry experience.

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READER PHOTOS

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NEW CALADONIA

When someone tells me that San Diego doesn’t have fine-dining restaurants that compare with San Francisco, Chicago or New York, I point them to a culinary jewel just a stones throw from our sparkling beaches.

BOTTLED IN BAJA

WIZARD OF ADDISON

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Take a hike, I’ve been told many times in my career. So, heading into my bucket-list years, I decided to take up the advice so many have freely rendered.

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TRAVELER’S

CALENDAR

VICTORIA AND ALBERT

British Drawings: 1600 to the Present Day October 5, 2013 – April 13, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE BALLOON FIESTA October 5 –13, 2013. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a world-renowned attraction and destination that feature spectacular balloon ascensions and fair-like festivities. Guests from all over the world come to Albuquerque to celebrate ballooning. Literally hundreds of balloons will be taking flight from the Balloon Fiesta Park this year.

British artists have used drawing in a wide range of ways: to think on paper and to build up storehouses of ideas, as well as to make finished exhibition pieces. Covering 400 years of drawing practice and including works by Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Constable, Blake, Rossetti, Spencer, Freud and Hockney, this display traces the central role played by drawing in portraiture and ‘landskip’, and in movements from Romanticism to Minimalism.

DENVER ART MUSEUM Passport to Paris

October 27, 2013 – February 9, 2014 Passport to Paris brings together works from the rock stars of the art world— Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and more. This exhibition’s trio of shows focuses on French art from the late 1600s to early 1900s and explores changes in art and society during three important centuries in art history.

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NY HISTORICAL SOCIETY The Armory Show at 100 October 11, 2013 - February 23, 2014 This exhibition will revisit the famous 1913 New York Armory Show on its 100th anniversary. The exhibition included works by such well-known European modernists as Paul Cezanne, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso and Paul Gauguin

SAN DIEGO BAY WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL November 20-24, 2013 Southern California’s largest wine and food festivaL Takes the spotlight this for its 10-year-anniversary in what promises to be the its largest celebration yet. The starstudded event takes place in the heart of downtown San Diego, with over 20 opportunities to satiate enthusiasts’ appetites for luxury wine and food throughout the week.

PUSHKAR FAIR November 6-17, 2013

The Pushkar Fair, or Pushkar ka Mela, is the annual five-day camel and livestock fair, held in the town of Pushkar in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is one of the world’s largest camel fairs, and apart from buying and selling of livestock it has become an important tourist attraction.

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FEATURED DESTINATION

AMAZING AMSTERDAM Amsterdam has come a long way since it was founded as a small fishing village in the late 12th century. Today it is a cosmopolitan city that is home to 176 nationalities.

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ne of the prime reasons many of us like to cruise is that you can explore, or at least sample, many different cities and countries in a short time. And as you explore each destination on shore excursions you can decide which places are interesting enough to come back and experience again. A recent cruise from Amsterdam on the Celebrity Constellation was a

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perfect example. The ship visited a number of exciting ports including Stockholm, St. Petersburg and Copenhagen. But it was Amsterdam that made the biggest impression – it was a city that had the perfect blend of beauty, history, architecture, culture, and interesting people. And it had one other thing that puts a city on our return list – energy. Amsterdam has it in spades. Like most visitors we mostly explored the city cen-


ter which begins at the transportation hub, Central Station. Six canals circle this area providing amazing photo opportunities at every turn. For three days we roamed the streets, museums and galleries of this culturally diverse city. The following pages in this special feature offer just a taste of what adventurers will find in this enlightened metropolis.

Top left: A tour boat cruises the canal passing historic homes and two fancy house boats. Top: The Bols symbolic cow in an official tasting room. Bols is the world’s oldest distilled spirit brand -- making liqueurs in Amsterdam since 1575. Bottom right: People watching at the countless outdoor cafes is a favorite pastime for locals and visitors alike.

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I Amsterdam Photos and Story By Ron James

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didn’t think much about Amsterdam when we booked a Baltic cruise with Celebrity Cruises. Stockholm, Copenhagen and especially St. Petersburg had my attention. All I really knew about Amsterdam was that women displayed their wares in the narrow alleys of its Red Light District and that drug dens full of young new-aged hippies were as common as taco shops are in my home city of San Diego. (Both were true to a certain extent; more on them later.) As I began to plan our port activities, the more I learned about Amsterdam, the better it looked. Unlike the first two visitor attractions just mentioned – neither is in my demographic wheel house – I was drawn to its rich history, eclectic architecture new and old, world-class cultural attractions, and energetic free-spirited people. The number of museums alone is amazing – Amsterdam has the highest density of museums per capita in the world. It is home to the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House, the Hermitage Amsterdam and the Rembrandt House Museum. My wife and I tried to visit as many as we could in three days,

Top: Locals and visitors watch the world go by Left: Coffeshops line the alleyways of the Red Light district. You won’t find much coffee in these shops, but what they serve can put a smile on your face.

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but barely scratched surface. In addition to the major tier of museums, there are countless others for travelers to experience, including the Amsterdam Museum that chronicles the city’s evolution and Joods Historisch Museum in the old Jewish quarter that explores the history of Judaism in the country. Prior to our visit, we ordered our tickets online for the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House. That was a good move since we walked directly into both museums, past several hundred visitors waiting in the rain to buy tickets. Another reason to get tickets in advance is that both these venues tend to sell out early.

lugging heavy suitcases on and off the rail cars, the passage wasn’t too painful – even with jet lag setting in. There are information booths, city employees, police and volunteers scattered in and outside the station to help dazed new arrivals. But don’t hesitate to ask a stranger, especially if they look like they know where they are. Most everyone will speak English and, if they aren’t lost themselves, will probably help out. One other important detail: Make sure you have some local coins for the restrooms at the station and in public venues. While you’re

photo courtesy Yellow Bike Amsterdam

Another good option is to buy a Holland Pass. It includes a choice of up to seven free and reduced entrance tickets for public transportation and major attractions including the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, canal cruises and the Heineken Experience - all without waiting in line. (Unfortunately the Anne Frank House is not included.) Holland Passes are 30 and 65 euros and available online at www.hollandpass.com.

Transportation Think bicycles when you think Amsterdam; they are the quintessential Dutch way of getting from here to there. To the Dutch they symbolize social freedom, but they are also practical. High parking fees and gas prices make driving a car in the city very expensive. The close proximity of neighborhoods, flat terrain and dedicated bike lanes make riding a bike a no brainer. Even commuters keep a bike locked on the sea of bike racks outside train stations so they can pedal to work.

in the airport, buy a candy bar or a newspaper and ask the cashier for change. Then you’ll be ready when you need it.

Warning! Although pedestrians are supposed to have right of way, most bike riders ignore that fine legal point and may run you down if you get in their way. Never cross the street or a bike path without looking … a sweet old lady on a rusty two wheeler just may knock you down. You might want to take the offense and start peddling around town. There are bike rental places around Amsterdam, but the best way to be introduced to the two wheel club is to take a Yellow Bike tour. They have friendly experienced guides who will lead groups of up to eight all around the city. The guides show the safe way to ride while sharing the fascinating story of Amsterdam over the years. Public transit is excellent with frequent rail, and bus service to just about anywhere. There is a commuter information center just outside the central train station where you can get maps, information and tickets. The lines to the information folks may be long, so it would behoove travelers to do their homework online in advance to get schedules, ticket and destination information. We took the train from Schiphol Airport to center city and to then light rail trolley to our hotel without problem. Except for

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The Red Light District I can’t say I’ve experienced anything like Amsterdam’s notorious Red Light District. For the adventurous and the open minded, it can be enjoyable experience. It’s not necessarily as erotic as it is exotic, a semi-sleazy street celebration like one you might find in New Orleans without the hurricane glasses attached to falling down drunks. You’ll even find a museum dedicated to the erotic here with lots of images of folks doing what comes naturally – mostly – as well as several of John Lennon’s erotic lithographs. Among all of these adult goings on is the Oude Kerk, an ancient wooden chapel built in 1306. The oldest in the city, it once had 38 altars each with its own guild-sponsored priest. Saskia, Rembrandt’s wife, was buried here in 1642. Today the church is mostly used as an art exhibition center.

Coffee Houses If you’re looking for a good cup of java, Amsterdam’s coffee houses may not be your cup of tea. The ones here are licensed to sell and offer a comfortable and relatively safe place to partake of mari-


Top: Busy streets in the Red Light District. Bottom: The Celebrity Constellation docked at the cruise terminal complex and the Movenpick Hotel. Left: Bike tour group and Erotic Museum in Red Light District. Museum photo by Michal Osmenda

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juana. Coffee houses and their visitors are a significant part of Amsterdam’s tourism revenue. Partakers must be 18 and no smoking is allowed on the streets. More than five grams of the stuff in your possession can result in a lot of trouble. Alcohol is not served in these establishments and hard drugs are strictly illegal. In much of the country, non-locals are banned from coffee houses, but there was such a backlash from the tourism industry, that Amsterdam is an exception. If you’re planning to make this a part of your experience, check to be sure the laws haven’t changed.

Exploring the Canals The 165 canals encircling Amsterdam have been central to the fabric of life here since the 16th century. These functional and picturesque waterways provide a marine transportation network, a home for houseboats and a major draw for visitors. The most interesting canals are Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht; all are lined with houseboats, from funky to grand, and framed by majestic 400-year-old homes, eclectic shops and busy outdoor cafes. There are a variety of ways to explore the canals ranging from walking, or taking a ferry boat, canal bus, canal cruise tour or water taxi or even renting a four-seater canal peddle boat. The canal bus provides regular service on three routes where riders can hop on or off at 14 stops in the tourist and shopping districts.

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Dining and Drink If you want to do as the Dutch do or just mingle with locals, plan on spending time in the many cafes that line every street, alley and canal in the city. Most are open daily from morning until the wee hours of the night. As expected in a city with such diversity, there’s a bar and café for every culinary desire and pocket book. One must stop if you’re beer fan is Arendsnest Pub on Herengracht 90 where 350 different beers brewed by about 60 Dutch breweries are served, including 30 on tap. The pub also offers a tasting flight where you can sample beers in small glasses while the friendly staff helps you sort through the brewskies available in this hoppy place.

A Signature Meal For centuries, rijsttafel, Dutch for rice table, has been the culinary sport of Amsterdam. It’s a fortunate relic from the Dutch colonization of Indonesia. The rijsttafel feast was based on the Indonesian rice feast of Nasi Padang more than 400 years ago when Dutch East India Company traders tasted spices in rice-based dishes at banquets. Then, the number of dishes served could run into the hundreds. Each restaurant serves variations on the rijsttafel theme, but the one constant is that rice served alongside meat or vegetable small plates. Most restaurants offer vegetarian editions, but most feasts


come with several meat dishes. Go hungry because you’ll be looking at 10 to 25 spicy dishes. We decided to give it a try on a Sunday, our last full day in Amsterdam. When we asked our concierge to make reservations, he explained that most of the popular restaurants that featured the dish were closed on Sundays. We sadly accepted the fact and headed to the city center to have a last look around. Our stroll through the rainy, but busy streets took us to a narrow stretch by a canal that was bordered on one side by a vast array of tulip and floral shops. Just as the rain paused, we both spied a small restaurant with a sign in the window that said “Rijsttafel.” We approached knowing that it would be closed. But no! There were people inside who were happily eating from many small dishes in front of them. We walked in an enjoyed a seemingly never ending parade of exotically spiced dishes. It was a delicious way to end our day … and our trip to amazing Amsterdam. Left: Hundreds of visitors line up to get tickets. Buy them online and save yourself the wait. Top: Street waffle shop near the Van Gogh Museum.

IT’S DUTCH TO ME

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f you’re like most us, when you think of Holland you think of windmills, tulips, little Dutch girls with wooden shoes and Heineken beer. Although the country is not Holland the locals frequently fall back on the international misconception that it is. Even the official government website is Holland.com because it’s a cooler brand than Netherlands and that is what most people search for when looking to visit the country. Many from the Netherlands find it’s easier just to say they’re from Holland than have to explain what we’re trying to explain here. And then it gets even more confusing because in America we call them Dutch, and they speak Dutch but really live in the country of the Netherlands not Deutschland – which is Germany where they speak Deutsch. But the folks in Amsterdam do live in Holland – not the country, but the province of Holland in the country of Netherlands where they all speak Dutch. To review: The country that includes Amsterdam is the Netherlands, its people are Dutch, and they speak Dutch. There is no country called Holland, but there are provinces of North and South Holland. Got it? By the way, you don’t pronounce the “s” in Netherlands.

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ESSENTIAL AMSTERDAM Go To Van Gogh Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2013, the Van Gogh Museum is presenting a new exhibition about Van Gogh’s life and work.

Pedal for Beer Probably the most unique way to see the streets of Amsterdam. Get buzzed with your friends and leave the driving the sober guy who’s steering the thing.

Experience Heineken The Heineken Experience takes less than two hours and includes lots of interactive activities. Two draft beers are included in the tour, plus an bonus glass of Heineken at the tasting bar after the tour!

Remember Rembrandt The Rembrandt Museum is where the artist lived and worked for 20 years. In his painting studio there are daily demonstrations of how etchings and painting were made in the 17th century.

Take a Boat Ride A trip to Amsterdam isn’t complete without a boat ride through the city’s canals. It’s a great way to see the colorful house boats that are home to the many of the rich and not-so-rich citizens of the city.

Visit Some Windmills Zaanse Schans is just 20 minutes away from Amsterdam by rail. The living museum showcases facinating 18th and 19th century windmills, homes, museums and workshops. Wine Dine & Travel Fall 2013 | 18


Take a Hike or a Bike

Eat Rijsttafel

With out a doubt, Amsterdam is one of the most walkable cities in the world. It’s flat -- which makes bike riding a national passion. Each delightful neighborhood offers a unique look into the past.

Amsterdam isn’t known as an international dining destination. The exception would be the many restaurants that feature a feast called rijsttafel.

Go Window Shopping It’s essential to have an open mind when walking in the Red Light District. You never know what will be displayed in the next shop or cafe window -- a stoned tourist or a lady covered by just a little something.

Buy a Pair of Wooden Shoes While visiting Zaanse Schans don’t miss the Wooden Shoe Factory and museum. Yes some local folks still wear those things.

Go Nautical Het Scheepvaartmuseum, the National Maritime Museum, tells inspiring stories of how Holland became a power. Enjoy the stimulating, interactive exhibitions, the replica of the East India Company’s ship, The Amsterdam, and the restored 17th century building. winedineandtravel.com | 19


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Visitors line up early to purchase tickets for the Anne Frank House. They probably didn’t know you can get tickets in advance online that would save the waiting in the rain.

A Poignant Visit to Amsterdam’s

Anne Frank House

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By Sharon Whitley Larsen

ecently I was on a Baltic cruise on the Celebrity Constellation, departing from Amsterdam, the dynamic city where I planned a few days of sightseeing. First on my list was to tour the Anne Frank House. It was in 1942 that a young Jewish girl received a red-checked diary for her 13th birthday. That gift became world-famous, a powerful World War II document and one of the most moving firstperson accounts of Jewish persecution and Adolf Hitler's terrifying reign.

1944) that she and her family--parents Otto and Edith, and older sister Margot--hid in quiet fear in the back section of a four-story Amsterdam office building with four others. Miep Gies, a Christian, was among a few trusted office employees in the building who brought food, books, and news to the hidden group, trying to boost their spirits. And, when they were captured in August 1944 (it’s unknown, to this day, who turned them in), it was she who discovered Anne’s diary and scattered papers left behind. After the war she presented them to Otto, the only one of the group to survive. He died in 1980, age 91.

“This visit was just as powerful as my first. I felt an overwhelming sadness...”

I first received a copy of “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” decades ago when I was in the sixth grade. And I still have the torn, yellowed paperback. Millions have fallen in love with the powerful, intimate writing of this innocent, ambitious teen. It's hard to believe that Anne would be 84 today had she not died in a concentration camp at age 15. Anne's diary was mainly written during the two years (1942-

“Here is your daughter Anne’s legacy to you,” she told him in July 1945. The following spring, historian Jan Romein wrote a front page story about the diary in the Dutch newspaper Het Parool, noting: “For me, all the hideousness of fascism is embodied in this apparently insignificant diary of a child, more than in all the Nuremberg court documents put together.” The diary was first published in June 1947 as “The Secret

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Annexe: Diary Letters from June 14, 1942-Aug. 1, 1944” with a run of some 3,000. To date it has sold more than 35 million copies in 70 languages. The Anne Frank House opened as a museum on May 3, 1960. I first toured it in 1970; this would be my third visit. More than 1 million visit annually--and on most days there is still a long line of young people from around the world waiting patiently to get in.

it," he said, "and I must say I was very much surprised about deep thoughts Anne had, her seriousness—and especially her self-criticism. It was quite a different Anne that I had known as my daughter; she never really showed this kind of inner feeling. . . .Most parents

way, with a framed map of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg hiding the upper edge of the door frame. When the bookcase is swung open, it reveals steep, narrow stairs--the entrance to the "Secret Annexe," as Anne dubbed it. I slowly walked through the five tiny, empty, stuffy rooms--with windows closed and covered just as they had been back then. This visit was just as powerful as my first. I felt an overwhelming sadness and was moved to see some visitors wiping tears; others whispered as they pointed out things. During the day, when there had been office and warehouse workers downstairs, the hidden group had to be quiet as mice. “No running water, no flushing lavatory, no walking around, no noise whatsoever,” Anne wrote in August 1943. Difficult for a young teen to do--and so she turned to her diary.

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

The museum includes high-tech videos, with moving documentaries by classmates, neighbors, and family friends. On one, Otto notes that he was amazed to see what his beloved daughter had written, that it was “a miracle” that the diary had been saved. “It took me a very long time to read

~ Anne Frank don’t know, really, their children.” Noting that he was not bitter, he added, “To build up a future, you have to know the past.” In an upstairs alcove is a corner bookcase—its shelves lined with empty account books. Behind it is a hidden door-

I was most touched seeing Anne's tiny, narrow room, which she had shared with a middle-aged dentist, and where she wrote her diary. The orangy wallpaper is still decorated with several postcards

Top: The swinging bookcase hid the entrance to the secret living quarters. Left: Visitors browse the Frank family timeline.

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and photos--including that era's big film stars and a young Princess Elizabeth, today's long-reigning British queen. Anne had pasted them on the walls to give it some cheerful decor. On one wall in her parents' room are pencil marks, where Edith had measured her daughters’ growth. A map of Normandy pin-pointing the Allied advance, which Otto had hung up, still remains. Another room is where the group had gathered for daily meals; there's still the small sink and stove. The tiny bathroom has just a sink, mirror, and toilet. Food supplies were kept in the attic. It was in these hidden rooms where the group tensed upon hearing burglars downstairs; where they celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, and Jewish holidays. And where they listened to war news on the radio, and held out hope that one day soon they would be free to pursue their dreams in the outside world. Anne’s dream was to be a writer. Another section of the museum displays Anne’s original diary, and includes her other writings, dramatic exhibits, commentaries, displays, photos, and international newspaper stories from those sad days. “I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again,” she wrote in July 1944. “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” Just three months earlier she had proclaimed, “I want to go on living even after my death!” And, through her gift to us, she has done just that. Her story must not be forgotten; her legacy must endure. Top: Anne Frank’s room with walls covered with clippings promising a better world. Right: Photos of baby Anne Frank and family.

WHEN YOU GO: Anne Frank House and Museum: www.annefrank.org/ About $12 adults; about $6.30 ages 10-17; about 65 cents for ages 10 and under. It’s important to pre-book timed tickets online to avoid waiting in a long line. Some tours include a lecture in English. Unfortunately, the hidden rooms are not wheelchair accessible. The tour involves climbing several flights of steep, narrow stairs. There’s also a café and a spacious gift shop with numerous books—by and about Anne in various languages. Discover Anne Frank’s Amsterdam: www.annefrank.org/en/Subsites/Annes-Amsterdam/ PHOTO CREDITS: Copyright Anne Frank House, photographer Cris Toala Olivares; Ron James

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Zaanse Schans A DAY TRIP TO

Just 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam

is the delightful village of Zaanse Schans. Walking into the village is like stepping back in time. Set on the banks of the river Zaan you are surrounded by charming characteristic green wooden houses, shops, gardens, hump-backed bridges, and most significant of all – historic Dutch windmills.

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Top: The charming village of Zaandijk with private docks on the Zann river. Above: Visitors shop at the Coffee Museum and store. Right: Homes and shops line the road to the windmills

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“I sipped my beer. I could imagine slipping on my comfortable wooden shoes and heading out to my own giant windmill...”

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Story & Photos by Ron James

No trip to Amsterdam is complete without a visit to Zaanse Schans, an historic community on the banks of the Zaan River where windmills and wooden shoes still rule. With a little help from our hotel concierge, we found the right train out of the Central Station to the Koog-Zaandijk stop. Although you can get there by bus or even boat, a 17 minute train ride through the flat green countryside is the easiest way to go. Once you arrive at the station, it’s a pleasant 15 minute walk through the charming town of Zaandijk to get to the historic area. If you don’t want walk, there are some taxis and at the time we visited, bus service was available. As you walk, you’ll see a very picturesque street on the left lined with gorgeous green and white homes and buildings, many with

boats and yachts docked along the Zaan River. We were tempted to visit the stores and restaurants, but we had windmills on our minds. As we made our way across a bridge to Zaanse Schans, the windmills come into view. It was like looking through a window back in time. In fact, more than 250 years ago, this pastoral community was a thriving industrial area with more than 600 windmills churning out lumber, paint, mustard, oil, grain and paper. It was the world’s first industrial park. But it was also a community with homes, churches, taverns and stores.

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Left and top: Of the thousand industrial windmills built along the banks of the river Zaan thirteen remain. Six can be found in Zaanse Schans. Right: One of the two smaller hobby windmills in Zaanse Schans. Bottom opposite page: The Interior of one of the grain producing windmills with two giant grinding wheels.


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Today people live and work in the village just as the Dutch did hundreds of years ago. The village’s narrow paths lead past a small retail center with gift and gourmet shops, and a hotel with outdoor dining. Here you’ll find a grocery museum and Pewter Foundry De Tinkoepel, one of the last pewter foundries left in the Netherlands. On the other side of the road is a narrow canal with humpback bridges scattered down its length. They lead to homes where local families live. As we wander out of the village we take the path toward a string of eight windmills of all shapes and sizes. Six are industrial windmills designed to produce its own product. There are demonstrations of how the power of the windmill is used to produce oil, make pigments for paint, and saw timber. Some of the windmills also serve as homes for their owners who can be seen tinkering at the sails and parts of the windmills that must need regular maintenance. A number of windmills are retail stores and offer free admittance, while others ask for a small fee so that they can maintain these ancient giants. It was truly remarkable to think that they were the height of industrial technology well over 400 years ago. After visiting several windmills we took a fork in the path that led to an equally interesting section of the historical park. Grouped in several period-style buildings were a cheese farm with an elaborate retail sales area and a wooden shoe museum and factory displaying hundreds of pairs of fascinating clogs of every era for every need. Clog and cheese making demonstrations add to the fun. Within this complex are a couple casual restaurants with outdoor seating. We enjoyed a meal made with local ingredients and some local brews. As I sipped my beer, I could imagine slipping on my comfortable wooden shoes and heading out to my own giant windmill that would do nothing but rock a giant hammock. Thinking about living in the past can be hard work. Top: Visitors chat with sheep whose milk is used in the cheese production as shown in the cheese making plant above.

IF YOU GO Guided tours are available and lasts about 1.5 hours. € 6.50 p.p. (minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 people per guide) Hours for the park and stores are from 11 a.m. -- 5 p.m. Website: www.zaanseschans.nl Wine Dine & Travel Fall 2013 | 30

Left: A docile replica of a cow lets visitors try their hand at milking without upsetting the real thing. Right: Displays of unusual wooden shoes. The wooden shoe making museum and manufacturing plant has several demonstrations daily.


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TRAVEL INDUSTRY PROFILE

a nautical natural HE WORKED HIS ENTIRE YOUNG LIFE TO BE A CRUISE CAPTAIN - ONLY HE DIDN’T KNOW IT

Meet Staff Captain Thomas Hinderhofer, one of the new breed of up-and-coming American cruise ship command officers.

Story & Photos by Ron James

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Y

oung Thomas Hinderhofer never considered a career as a cruise ship officer. Yet practically everything he did in high school prepared him for just that.

In less than a decade after high school graduation, he has risen to the rank of Staff Captain, second in command on a 2,100-passenger cruise ship plying oceans and seas around the world. In an industry where ranking officers tend to be veteran Europeans, Hinderhofer is one of only a handful of Americans to rise to this level of leadership position. Hinderhofer was raised on New York’s Long Island just off Exit 66 of the Long Island Expressway. “It’s a good reference point,” he says with a smile during a break from his duties one sunny afternoon. “You won’t believe how many people I talk to who know exactly where that is. Many of them say, ‘Hey I used to live off Exit 68, or my cousin live just a few exits away.’” Although surrounded by water, Hinderhofer wasn’t drawn to the local marine scene. “I never saw myself sailing on ships,” he says when asked about his career plans growing up. “Although I lived by the water, I never had a boat. A friend did have a rubber raft and we used to go fishing on the lake by my house. But you know, I was actually really terrified – you never knew what was inside that lake.”

Hinderhofer thrived in school, excelling in academics, sports and extracurricular activities. “I liked the social aspect of it all,” he recalls. “High school wasn’t only about education and a career. It was about meeting people, helping people and giving back to the community. “

Left: Staff Captain Thomas Hinderhofer is second in command of the Celebrity Infinity above.

“I never saw myself sailing on ships. Although I lived by the water I never had a boat. A friend did have a rubber raft we used to paddle around and go fishing on the lake by my house. But you know I was actually really terrified – you never knew what was inside that lake.”

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Staff Captain Thomas in charge of the bridge during a Panama Canal transit. The Panamanian pilot on the left looks for hazards. As his senior year approached, he began to explore his options for college and career. He considered being a police officer, but the 9-11 terrorist attacks in New York drew him toward the military. “I liked the discipline and order, and the idea of getting objectives completed and moving on,” he says.

the classroom and extra-curricular activities. He ranked near the top of the class and graduated in the top 10 percent academically. “Like all of my fellow classmates I wanted to go for a job on a tanker or container ship,” he says. “I didn’t know much about or even considered cruise ships.”

High scores on the U. S. Navy recruiting test resulted in an invitation to join a nuclear submarine crew. He was intrigued, but when openings closed, his interest in joining the Navy enlisted ranks waned. But based on his brief flirtation with the military, he began to look into college ROTC programs that would lead to a commission. It was while exploring those options he came across the New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler.

That changed at one of the school’s semiannual career fairs when he chatted with three executives from Celebrity Cruises. Both sides liked what they heard, even though an entry level office earned only two-thirds of what officers on container or cargo ships made. “But obviously, I wasn’t in it for the money,” he says with a smile. “I was 21 years old. Who wouldn’t want to be aboard a cruise ship right after graduation?”

“I realized I could get a college degree that would lead to a sure position,” he said of his decision to enroll. “And I could get a license to sail as a civilian mariner, which is today a pretty lucrative career starting right out of college.”

Six days after he graduated, Celebrity offered him a position. That was six years ago and in that time he rose to the rank of Staff Captain.

The structured military-like environment suited the eager student and he excelled in

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If you’re lucky enough to be aboard the same ship with Staff Captain Thomas, you’ll see him using the people and leadership skills he developed in school. When he isn’t deal-

ing with his administrative duties, leading his crew in safety and emergency drills and taking his turn on bridge, he’s confidently walking the decks greeting passengers and answering questions – always with a smile on his face. He even has his own popular lecture series dealing with ship’s propulsion, navigation and recycling program on the main theater stage – which is where he met his wife, who was a Celebrity dancer. As of this writing he is enjoying his three months off with his bride at their home in New Jersey. There are less than a handful of Americanborn cruise ship masters in the world. But it’s pretty obvious that it’s only a matter of time before Hinderhofer takes up that ultimate cruise ship responsibility. “I still get goose bumps when I think about being an officer on a cruise ship,” the Staff Captain said, “To be honest -- I don’t know why things happen in life, but sometimes it just fits.” This is the first in WD&T’s profiles of notable professionals in the travel and hospitality industries.


TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

5 Usefull Travel Apps M

ore than 25 million Americans will depart on an international vacation this summer, many of which take place in August after camp and sports programs come to an end and before school begins again. With bag and weight limitations, travelers must make important decisions about the items they pack. What many travelers may not realize is that some of the most useful tools for traveling can be downloaded right onto their mobile phones and save them time, frustration and money so they can enjoy as much of their vacation as possible.

iTranslate

Another free app that will save the day! Need to converse with a waitress or hotel manager and forgot how to say a word or phrase? The iTranslate app can translate more than 60 languages and also includes an extensive dictionary at your fingertips.

AllSubway TripAdvisor Offline City Guides This free city guides will come in handy when you find yourself strolling through a European city with a sudden urge to grab a bite or deciding last minute to take a day trip to an Italian coastal village. With this app, you can read reviews of restaurants, attractions and hotels with no data roaming charges.

Save time and money by sticking to public transit. This app helps you navigate 151 different metropolitan transit systems across the globe like a pro. Best yet, it’s available off-line so you’re able to navigate anywhere, anytime.

BillPin Traveling around the world with friends or extended family is one of the best parts of being abroad, but figuring out rent and splitting expensive checks at restaurants can be tricky, especially in foreign currency! This free app helps track expenses and exchange rates and avoid the awkward “you owe me” conversation.

Vonage Mobile International phone fees can become an unexpected high-ticket cost without proper pre-planning. Before you take off, invite friends and family to download the free Vonage Mobile app and you can keep them up-to-date on your awesome adventure, whether by phone, text, video or all of the above! International calls to the U.S. are free over Wi-Fi.

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FAMILY DESTINATIONS

FOOD DUDES Tucked away at the far end of the valley, where the Elk River flows from the Sawtooth Range, lies Home Ranch, a hidden Relais & Chateaux gem, one of the West’s great dude ranches -- and a root’n-too’n vacation paradise for foodies. Story and Photos by Ron James

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t was our first day at the dude ranch in the Rocky Mountains, near Steamboat Springs, Colo. The sky was clear and a cool breeze tamed the warmth of a bright sun. We had been riding most of the afternoon, winding up and down green hillsides and through meadows lush with wildflowers. My horse, Shooter, never seemed to mind carrying a man just a bit on the large side of his 6-foot frame. For that, I let him munch on wildflowers from time to time.

My fantasy dissolved in the large dining room of the Home Ranch, a dude ranch with a difference. Although the room was log cabin rustic, the communal table settings were as beautifully sophisticated as those in trendy restaurants on either coast. This dinner was going to be more Daniel Boulud than Gabby Hayes — not beans and biscuits, but a six-course tasting menu matched with fine wines. This is a ranch for foodies as much as dudies, you might say.

“More Daniel Boulud than Gabby Hayes”

Back at the ranch, after a bit of rest and an opportunity to wash off the trail dust, we headed to the dining room. Aided by memories

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of old cowboy movies, I pictured simple but hearty fare served by a crotchety cook named Cookie.

Home Ranch guests are a well-heeled professional bunch, many with


Left and above: Home Ranch main living quarters with one of the several detached cabins in the distance. Below: Dude ranch cowhands get guests saddled up.

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young’uns in tow. All relish the laid-back atmosphere of the ranch — and the day long activities for children that made this a family vacation kids and parents could enjoy. Although the ranch provides the traditional hiking, riding, fly-fishing and river rafting, it is the food and hospitality that keep these dudes coming back year after year. (Over half the guests on our stay were returnees.) The Home Ranch is one of a handful of dude ranches that belong to the exclusive Relais & Chateaux association, whose high standards are based on the five Cs: “Courtesy, Charm, Character, Calm, Cuisine.”

“All of our breads, pastries, desserts, soups and even ice cream are made from scratch.” Home Ranch has a professional kitchen staff worthy of the finest dining spots. It is led by Executive Chef Clyde Nelson, who has been serving guests at the ranch for more than 17 years. He has been featured in several magazines including Bon Appetit, Food & Wine and Gourmet. Nelson, who

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Above, opposite: Guests relax, ride and fish at Home Ranch. Top: Top hand and General Manager Johnny Fisher (second from left) serenades the guests with songs from the trail. Left: Ron James pauses in a meadow of flowers with his horse Shooter.

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grew up in Vermont and holds a degree in wildlife management, feels he was destined for the Home Ranch. “I love the outdoors, I love and actively participate in all of the activities here — except horseback riding,” he said with a laugh. Nelson and his crew prepare three gourmet meals a day for their guests. They pride themselves on using only the freshest natural ingredients, most of which come from the area. “You won’t find anything store-bought or prepackaged in our kitchens,” explained the chef. “All of our breads, pastries, desserts, soups and even ice cream are made from scratch daily.” Lunch is served off the grill, pool side most of the time. During the week, most dinners are multi-course fine-dining experiences with some evenings featuring casual gourmet outdoor cookouts at a special place on the ranch. As we took our seats for the wine pairing dinner, the Chef de cuisine paraded out of the kitchen in his spotless whites to announce the feast. “Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, we will start with elk and beef carpaccio with baby arugula salad, matched with a silky 2003

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Belle Pente Estate Pinot Noir.” He rolled through the following six courses like a master maitre d’, starting with grilled Copper River salmon with mango and grilled pineapple salsa, and ending with a decadent chocolate cake with homemade Turkish ice cream matched with a 2002 Andrake Reserve. It was a meal to remember. I only wished that Shooter were there; I would have shared my baby arugula salad.

Top: After a hard day in the saddle cowpokes gather in the rustic dining room. Bottom: Perfectly grilled roast beef and vegetables served at one of the several outdoor meals.


Top: Dudes chowing down at the hayride meal during a perfect summer evening. Middle: Homemadei ice cream served along a crusty fruit cobbler. Above: Executive Chef Clyde Nelson Bottom: Lunch is served at the Home Ranch outdoor dining room.

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DREAM DESTINATIONS

The Grand Del Mar

BEAUTY BEYOND THE BEACH

It may come as a surprise to learn that California’s best hotel is not in fact located on the sand. By Julia Weiler

D

espite the coast’s obvious draw, San Diego has an equally grand attraction inland. Boasting a triple sweep of Forbes Travel Guide’s Five Star Rating for its resort, spa and signature dining venue plus the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award, the opulent oasis known as The Grand Del Mar gives sun-seeking sojourners a reason to stay and play beyond the beach. I recently spent a three-day weekend at The Grand Del Mar. It was my husband’s birthday and I wanted to provide a memorable experience that would earn me carte blanche for the rest of the year. I’m ter-

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rible with anniversaries and holidays, so I figured if I nailed the birthday thing I’d be forgiven all else. The Grand Del Mar was named California’s #1 Resort in Travel + Leisure’s 2013 World’s Best Awards, and while I was mildly discouraged to learn of it’s off-the-beach location, I decided to go forward with the booking. I couldn’t have made a better choice. As my husband and I headed northeast of San Diego, our surroundings softened from city skyline and sea to rolling hills and open blue skies. Traffic thinned, hustle and bustle slowed to a crawl and all around us a sense of peace and quiet set in. The resort’s winding driveway looped below towering eucalyptus trees, lush palms and alongside chalky cliffs


carved by nature. To the south, undulating emerald green fairways of the resort’s Tom Fazio-designed golf course gave way to dramatic views of the Los Peñasquitos Canyon preserve. Ahead of us, The Grand Del Mar rose like a fairy tale palace. We pulled past Romanesque marble fountains to the stone-clad rotunda and were greeted by a genteel valet. Seamlessly, we were ushered to reception where cool fruit-infused teas and a warm welcome waited. Dazzled by the old-world architecture, intricate detailing and jewel-toned décor, we made our way through hallways accented by hand-painted frescoes and artwork lit by gilded light sconces. By the time we arrived

at our private suite we’d forgotten the beach, in fact we’d forgotten San Diego all together. We imagined ourselves in the Mediterranean region, under the Tuscan sun. We bounded through our suite’s double doors and explored the interior like giddy children. The sitting room featured dark mahogany furnishings draped in fine brocades. Bookshelves lined with leatherbound classics flanked a formal fireplace. A filigreed balcony framed soaring views from fairways to the rustic canyon beyond. Meanwhile, the dining room had seating for eight under tufted ceilings hung with an elaborate chandelier. A fruit and cheese plate with chilled San Pel-

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ligrino adorned the table, and in the kitchen, atop the polished marble, a welcome card commemorated our arrival. Through the hallway we discovered our sumptuous sleeping quarters and a marble bathroom equipped with walk-in shower, deep European soaking tub, dual vanities and enough room to dance the waltz. Fluffy robes and plush slippers waited for us in the oversized closet. The bedroom itself was a splendid lair of soft settees, a masculine office nook and yet another picture-perfect balcony. The king sized bed was dressed in crisp cotton sheets by the legendary Italian linen maker, Frette. We plopped on the pillow-topped mattress, sampled the custom bath amenities and threw open the balcony doors to invite the sage-scented breeze inside. After our romp around the room we departed for Amaya, the resort’ s relaxed and elegant dining venue. Seated on a patio ensconced by serpentine staircases, shaded by an elaborate canopy and overlooking the grassy Aria Pavilion, we sipped stems of vino from the resort’s 3,500-bottle cellar. We savored smoky almond-crusted scallops with sweet-tart grapefruit confit, snacked on plump Catalan-style shrimp in fragrant lime and chili broth, then continued with tarragon-laced pappardelle intertwined with crab and lobster, and a tender duo of petit filet paired with slowbraised short rib. The following morning we enjoyed breakfast in bed. Content to spend the day lolling about in his robe, the birthday boy kissed me goodbye and sent me off to the resort’s Renaissance-inspired spa. Embraced by delicate music, jasmine-scented air and soft pastel décor, I gave into my peaceful surroundings. I sprawled on indoor daybeds, lounged on garden chaises and indulged in chocolate truffles melted with mouthfuls of hot herbal teas. I skimmed glamorous magazines, admired the spa’s collection of framed Hermes scarves, and when it was time for my 90-minute Stony Silence ritual, I nearly floated to the treatment room.

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The session began with careful placement of smooth stones heated to sinew soothing temperatures. The rounded curves eased into my pressure points, relieving tension as the heat soaked in. When I was utterly relaxed, my therapist used heated stones to massage my muscles in long sweeping strokes until aches were but a memory. Afterwards, I dallied at the spa then plunged into the adults-only pool. Gentle music from the underwater stereo system provided the soundtrack as I swam a lap of luxury.


That night we celebrated my husband’s birthday at Addison with a French-inspired culinary journey helmed by Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef William Bradley. We began with signature cocktails sipped on the terrace with views of a dramatic cascading waterfall. Afterwards, back in the folds of the sophisticated dining room our seating commenced with amuse-bouche then progressed through several perfectly paced courses presented with artisanal breads, intriguing wines and refreshing in-betweens. We supped on expertly prepared bites of Kumamoto oysters, porcini mushroom risotto, coddled farm eggs and Kobe short rib. A final course of rich espressos and delicate sweets concluded the elaborate meal.

Top: The 13th hole in front of resort complex. Left: Equestrian trails around the resort. Below: Couples suite at the spa. Bottom: The living room of the Mizner suite.

Our time at The Grand Del Mar was a blissful blur of rest and relaxation punctuated by inspired cuisine, fine wines and passionate service with an uncanny knack of anticipating and meeting needs we didn’t even know we had. Every time we returned to our suite some new miracle had occurred. My hairdryer cord would be wound and tied with golden ribbon, my bath salts refreshed and rose petals provided for my next soak. My husband’s eyeglasses would be polished and a fresh cleaning kit set to the side for later. His newspaper refolded with a bookmark slipped in to hold his place. Chocolates were left throughout the room like little gifts from the gods, wine glasses placed next to the bottle we’d found in the gift shop and on his birthday, a cake appeared without our asking.

Photos courtesy of The Grand Del Mar

My husband’s wish to do as little or as much as he pleased was realized that weekend. He slept late. He lounged in robe and slippers and enjoyed peace and quiet in a private, beautiful location. Our excursions were fun and easy. I had definitely nailed the birthday thing, but rather than seeing my victory as an excuse to forget all other occasions I started plotting the next. Don’t we have an anniversary coming soon? What about a Christmas getaway? My birthday is near, should I break tradition and vacay off the beach? Yes, I still love the sand, and California has some glorious coastline, but for true connoisseurs of luxury travel there is The Grand Del Mar. Perhaps I’ll see you there.

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William Bradley The wizard of Addison

W

By Ron James

hen someone suggests to me that the San Diego region doesn’t have fine-dining restaurants that compare with San Francisco, Chicago or New York, I point them to a culinary jewel just a long stones throw from Del Mar’s sparkling beaches. The place is called Addison at The Grand Del Mar. Since the restaurant opened, it has racked up more prestigious awards than many star chef-owned restaurants. The maestro in the kitchen is Chef William Bradley. He has wowed San Diegans and visitors with his vision of contemporary French cuisine since the restaurant opened in 2006. Bradley began his career at Azzura Point at Loews Coronado Bay Resort and then moved on to Scottsdale. As executive chef for Vu restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa, he was nominated for the James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef for three consecutive years. For all the recognition and honors he’s received, Bradley is too little recognized by East Coast food journalists and culinary intelligentsia. Bradley’s accomplishments

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are even more remarkable given that he has no formal training and has labored in a nonmajor media market in a hotel resort hidden off a freeway between tracts of suburban homes. The Addison Experience It begins when you turn off a nondescript suburban boulevard into an almost hidden side street. At this quiet intersection, nondescript ends and grand begins. The two-lane road wends through the plush acreage of The Grand Del Mar, a luxuryclass resort and golf club. Spotlights accent manicured oak and olive trees all the way to the restaurant, where valets bustle and guests waiting for their cars gather by the blazing outdoor fireplace to ward off the evening chill. Inside the intricate iron and glass doors wait an imposing foyer with golden Venetian plastered walls, a 20-foot high pyramid ceiling and an inlaid limestone and marble floor. The design reflects the style created by the restaurant’s namesake, Addison Mizner, a renowned architect who introduced this hybrid Moroccan, Spanish and Venetian style at posh Palm Beach and Boca Raton resorts in the 1920s.

Addison’s intricately detailed entryway leads into the elegant dining room and a culinary adventure orchestrated by Chef William Bradley.


Near the large, full-service bar, a cozy room features a 13-foot tall limestone fireplace. As we’re seated and fine white linen napkins are draped across our laps -- we take a deep breath and look around. Other guests that evening are dressed up (by San Diego standards) and the room buzzes with good cheer and anticipation. There’s a mood of celebration in the air. Addison’s dining room is thoughtfully designed. With seating for just 80, the atmosphere is rather intimate and the acoustics are good, despite the tall ceilings and open floor plan. Tables are spaced nicely, and in a way that keeps conversations at the table. Lighting is soft and low, but thanks to unobtrusive spotlights, guests can read the menu and view the dishes without resorting to the table candle or a cell phone light. The restaurant offers a choice of fixed-price menus featuring absolutely fresh and, when

“If you’ve never tried sweetbreads, this version will make you a fan.” possible, locally grown ingredients. The menus are seasonal. A sample menu posted on Addison’s website (www.addisondelmar. com) lists dishes currently being served. The Four-Course Prix-Fixe Menu, priced at $98, offers guests choice selections for each course. There is also a cheese cart featuring 10 choice cheeses from California, Wisconsin, Italy and France. Also available is The Gourmand 10-CourseMenu for $235 per person. If you want a memorable treat, as we did, Bradley will create a special seven course Carte Blanche meal “for the table,” priced at $175 per person (add wine pairing for an additional $125 per person). I like a “chef’s choice” menu because it both is a good gauge of the chef’s range and culinary mastery, and offers a rich variety of flavors, textures and artistic plating. In short, it’s a feast for the eyes and palate. Before the first course, we were served an amuse-bouche of smoked salmon rillettes with cornichons and yuzu, a tasty mouthful presented like a tiny jewel. Those with big appetites may think they crave more, but patience, my hungry friends; you will walk

out of Addison full and satisfied.

succulent delicacy.

The next two courses spotlighted seafood. Up first were layers of thinly sliced Australian hiramasa served with pickled cucumbers, pears and uni, an arrangement of vividly contrasting textures accented with fruity sweetness and ocean-fresh salinity.

Our next dish, ris de veau (veal sweetbreads) was lightly crusted to preserve the delicate flavor, and served with toasted pistachios, amaretto and prunes. This dish again balanced sweet and savory notes, proving Bradley’s mastery of this impressive high-wire act. If you’ve never tried sweetbreads, this version will make you a fan.

Alaskan king crab starred in the second course. Crab is my favorite seafood, but I tend to avoid Alaskan king crab because it often disappoints. Chef Bradley changed my thinking with the first bite - sweet, flavorful and so tender it melted in my mouth. The accompanying aioli and cured lemon emulsion were perfect foils for this

After the artisan cheese course, we refreshed our palates with a crisp granite (ice) of lemon-honey and apple cider before moving on to dessert. When you’re celebrating, there’s always

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room for dessert and at Addison, the expertly prepared sweets aren’t to be missed. We savored tender warm almond cake with a tangy berry gastrique and crème fraîche sorbet, a beautiful plate created by the pastry chef team. From amuse-bouche to dessert, Addison’s service was world-class. The expert staff, presented and cleared each course deftly. Polished but not the least bit pompous, the staff was friendly without being familiar. Each course of our chef’s menu was solidly matched with a wine selected by the Sommelier who described the wine and pairing in detail. Both tap the amazing resources in Addison’s 37,000-bottle wine cellar, a collection that has garnered a slew of accolades. The only American wine poured was a Schramsberg, Brut “Blanc de Blancs,” presented with the amuse-bouche. Then we were taken on a global wine adventure, sampling a slightly fruity and effervescent Txomin Etxaniz Basque white, a semi-dry German Riesling, a sweet Emilio Lustau “Solera” sherry and a full-bodied Montes syrah from Chili. It is worth the money to make this journey. If you want to bring a bottle from your own cellar to enjoy with dinner, keep in mind that the corkage fee is a

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very hefty $50. Any additional bottles you bring must be matched by an equal number of purchased bottles. Chef Bradley challenges himself and his staff to embrace each season’s freshest local ingredients. His fall tasting menus will include: Parfait de Poulard with quince gelée and cinnamon brioche; Sea scallops with cauliflower, caviar and celery; Petit Crevettes with matsutake mushrooms, water chestnuts and dashi; Ris de Veau Panés with smoked pecans, parsnips and sauce periguèux; and Pears Poché with vanilla crémeux orange and Armagnac. As the number of fine dining, special occasion restaurants dwindles in cities across America, Addison must be celebrated for staying the course and offering the memorable setting, menu and service expected of world-class restaurants. The dining experience produced by Bradley and his team certainly adds weight to the argument that San Diego is, indeed, a culinary destination. I recently admonished a young restaurant reporter for using too many lofty superlatives in restaurant profiles. Wait, I explained, until you find a restaurant truly worthy of such high praise. Addison’s dining experience was worthy, and in fact, it was grand.


Chef William Bradley’s

BAKED DOVER SOLE WITH LEMONLIME JAM AND FINES HERBES

INGREDIENTS

6 whole lemons, peeled, seeded and cut in half 6 whole limes, peeled, seeded and cut in half 4 cups lemon Perrier sparkling water 3 cups organic cane sugar ¼ cup fresh ginger, diced Four 4-ounce Dover sole fillets Fleur de sel (sea salt) to taste ¾ cup salted French butter, tempered 2 leaves each Fines Herbes for garnish (tarragon, chives, chervil and parsley) 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

I

Method for Lemon-Lime Jam

n a heavy-duty saucepot over low heat, add lemons, limes, sparkling water, sugar and ginger. Cook uncovered for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Method for Sole

Season each fillet of sole with salt. In a large piping bag, add the tempered butter and pipe over each individual fillet until completely coated. Place the sole in a preheated 200-degree oven for 8 minutes. Then, remove and let stand for 5 minutes.

Assembly On each serving plate, place one individual fillet of sole and arrange Fines Herbes on top of each fillet; then spoon over olive oil and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Place a small dollop of Lemon-Lime Jam on the side. winedineandtravel.com | 49


WHITLEY ON WINE

SOMM: THE MOVIE A documentary by Jason Wise follows four young sommeliers as they prepare for the Master Sommelier (MS) exam.

By ROBERT WHITLEY

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For most of my professional career, the sommelier has been a relic of the past, a symbol of that forgotten time when only the wealthy ordered fine wine off a restaurant wine list and only the stuffiest, most image-conscious restaurants found it necessary to employ a certified wine professional to cater to their uppercrust clientele. restaurant with a sommelier was considered by most casual wine drinkers to be wine snobbery on steroids. The world has changed, and so has the professional sommelier. To some extent much of the credit for the change goes to the Court of Master Sommeliers, which trains, tests and certifies sommeliers in four distinct levels of expertise and maintains the professional standards that have shaped the world of the modern sommelier. "Somm," the movie, is a documentary by Jason Wise that follows four young sommeliers as they prepare for the Master Sommelier (MS) exam. "Somm" is now showing in theaters around the country and also is available at the iTunes store. If you have the vaguest interest in wine and dine out with any frequency, you need to see this film. Whatever you think you know, or could possibly imagine, about the world of the professional sommelier, do yourself a favor and check your assumptions at the door. The subjects of the documentary

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— Ian, Justin, Brian and JLynn — are ordinary guys with one exception: All four have a passion for wine that has morphed into obsession, which in turn has inspired their quest to be the best they can be at their chosen profession. Of the four levels of expertise certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers — Level 1, Certified, Advanced and Master — the Master level is the highest and most difficult to achieve. Of those who take the Master Somm exam, only 3 percent pass. There are but 200 or so master sommeliers in the world. The preparation is demanding, time consuming, and mentally and physically grueling. Most sommeliers studying for the Master exam do so in teams, constantly challenging each other to improve their knowledge of the subject, their tasting skills and their service skills under extreme pressure. Many brilliant sommeliers never pass the Master exam despite multiple attempts. It's that hard. Wise in his documentary follows one such study group. The film was three years in the making and made a huge splash at the Napa Valley Film Festival earlier this year. The four characters are compelling at a very basic human level, while resisting the urge to give in to a fear of failure as they immerse themselves in what to many might seem to be an impossible dream. Master Sommelier Fred Dame, a legendary sommelier and one of the testers at the Master exam, is brilliant simply being himself.


photos courtesy of Somm: The Movie

“The film is polished and sophisticated in the way ‘Sideways’ never was...”

The film is polished and sophisticated in the way "Sideways" never was, and the characters had the crowd at my screening cheering and sighing as the results of the exam were announced. "Somm" is entertaining, at times great fun, and, I daresay, delivers an important message about the growing presence of the modern professional sommelier in the restaurant industry.

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WINE COUNTRY DESTINATIONS

The Casa de Piedra and its vineyards are situated in geometric rhythm and harmony to the vines. It belies the rustic farmhouse ambiance, equipped with state-of-the-art small capacity stainless steel tanks complete with computerized processing control, a semi-gravitational system and underground caves. Photo by John AlongĂŠ

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Bottled in Baja By John AlongĂŠ

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or most people, the allure of visiting a great wine country transcends the simple pleasure of drinking good wine. Rather, it becomes a cultural foray, encompassing wine, cuisine, art, architecture and, perhaps most important, lifestyles of the people that live there. On all these levels, a visit to the Guadalupe Valley in Baja, 90 minutes from the US-Mexico border, is a most rewarding wine country experience.

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photos courtesy of LAJA

Fresh local fish with local produce and olive oil is one of the dishes served at the LAJA, known for light and simple cuisine. (Below) Hugo D’Acosta, sometimes called the Mexican Mondavi. The wine trail, La Ruta del Vino, is a 14-mile strip that follows the valley floor between Ensenada and Tecate along Highway 3. The valley, about two-thirds the size of the Napa Valley, is surrounded by mountains on three sides and opens up to the coastal plain to the west, allowing access to cooling ocean breezes. This marine influence is critical in a place where the average rainfall is only 7-9 inches a year. Some 50 wineries share the landscape with rolling vineyards and groves of olive trees. Magnificent oaks and wild mustard carpet the surrounding hillsides. Most of the roads remain unpaved, necessitating a slower pace. This seems to fit the nature of the area perfectly. When Don Miller and his Dutch wife Tru first came to the Valle de Guadalupe in 1996, it was a very different place. Pioneer winemaker Hans Backhoff had established his landmark Monte Xanic winery in late 1980, not long after Mexico had joined the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which opened Mexico to foreign competitors. This put pressure on wineries to produce quality wines that could compete on an internationally. In 1998, the Millers established the Adobe Guadalupe, a working winery married to a six-room bed and breakfast along with substantial horse stables. The striking structure was designed by Persian architect Nassir Haghighat to reflect the natural beauty of the surroundings. “Monte Xanic made Mexicans into wine drinkers,” Don says.

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“Now, Mexicans visit the Guadalupe Valley the way Americans visit the Napa Valley.” The Millers have more than 50 acres of vineyard planted with11 different grape varieties and produce about 6,000 cases a year. Their wines are named after archangels (Gabriel, Serafiel, Kerubiel, Miguel and Uriel). They are intriguing blends made from combinations of classic Bordeaux and Rhone varietals along with Tempranillo. The results are wines of outstanding depth, variety and complexity. It is difficult to have any kind of discussion about wine in Mexico without quickly encountering the name, Hugo D’Acosta. His iconic Casa de Piedra winery, established in 1997, has a cult following south of the border. There, D’Acosta produces small quantities of Piedra de Sol, a vibrant white wine made from 100 percent Chardonnay with no oak and no malolactic fermentation, as well as Vino de Piedra, a monumental red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo. “We are trying to keep the characteristics of the land and of the vintage,” says D’Acosta. “Casa de Piedra has shown that you can produce high quality wine with a Baja personality,” he adds. “It’s a matter of understanding the vineyard.” D’Acosta and his business partners purchased 450 acres in the north end of the valley and established a winery there


in 2006 called Paralelo. D’Acosta is also involved in a venture producing wines in the Roussillon region in southwest France and is busy establishing a Pinot Noir vineyard using Burgundy clones at 5,000 feet of altitude elsewhere on the Baja peninsula. He also serves as consulting oenologist for a number of Guadalupe Valley wineries, including Don Miller’s Adobe Guadalupe. As if all that weren’t enough, D’Acosta has somehow found time to create a revolutionary wine making school, familiarly called La Escuelita, in the tiny hamlet of El Porvenir in the heart of the valley. The flourishing facility was established in 2000 in an abandoned olive oil production facility using mostly recycled building materials. The school attracts wine enthusiasts from all walks of life who sign up to learn the craft of making wine. When I ask Hugo how he manages to stay involved in such a dizzying array of projects, he pauses for a moment, then smiles and says, “You wake up early and go late to bed.” Although the subject of wine is at the center of life in the

“Now, Mexicans visit the Guadalupe Valley the way Americans visit the Napa Valley.”

winemakers, many of whom have attended Hugo D’Acosta’s wine school. Whether you would like to enjoy the revelry of a festival in the valley, or you prefer to discover its charms in a quieter way, a visit is certain to provide you with an unforgettable cultural experience. It has been said that the Guadalupe Valley is like Napa was 30 or so years ago. Take a trip back in time to a warm and hospitable place, just over the border. Viva Baja!

HISTORY The Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley) is named after Our Lady of Guadalupe, a 16th century Roman Catholic icon from Mexico. The original community of Guadalupe was founded in 1834 -- the last of a chain of Dominican missions in Baja California. The mission was abandoned in 1840 due to constant attacks by local Indians. In 1904, a Russian religious sect from Los Angeles called the Molokans settled in the Valle de Guadalupe. They quickly revived the culture of the vine in valley.

valley, it is paralleled by a vibrant food culture. A tremendous variety of fruits and vegetables are cultivated in the benevolent Mediterranean climate. Artisan olive oils are produced from the local olives and local rustic farm cheeses match beautifully with fresh baked bread readily available at a number of craft bakeries. Small producers put up and sell an array of salsas, jams, jellies, herbs and condiments. The tasting room at the Dona Lupe winery at the north end of the valley offers an outstanding selection of products made from locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables. The bounty of local produce and food products has paved the way for a number of notable eating establishments within the valley. The most famous of these is venerable Laja, the creation of chef/owner Jair Téllez. Housed in a free standing house with a minimalist interior décor, Laja has received countless accolades for its comprehensive local wine list and inventive cuisine. The menu is based on fresh seafood from Ensenada, valley-raised lamb and quail and locally harvested fruits, vegetables and herbs. The dining rooms at two of the valley’s inns, Adobe Guadalupe and La Villa del Valle, also offer exceptional farm-fresh cuisine. Other culinary destinations include Deckman’s, a farm-to-table bistro, and the Finca Altozano, celebrity Baja chef Javier Plascencia’s working farm. There are two annual celebrations that provide the perfect opportunity to explore the area. The three-week Fiestas de la Vendimia (festival of the grape harvest) in August features winemaker dinners in a variety of venues and samplings from local restaurants and wineries along with a variety of live music performances. The Guateque takes place in June and is a festive showplace for hand-crafted wines from grapes grown or purchased in Mexico and produced by amateur

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OFFBEAT DESTINATIONS

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NEW CALEDONIA & the Isle of Pines Stories & Photos By Alison DaRosa Tell your friends you’re going to New Caledonia and chances are you’ll be greeted with an enthusiastic blank stare. Sounds nice – but where the heck is it?

New Caledonia

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t’s a bucket list destination – well off the beaten track. But next time you’re in Australia or New Zealand, be sure to add it to your travel plans. New Caledonia is a remote archipelago in the Coral Sea – about a three-hour flight northeast of Sydney, Australia, or northwest of Auckland, New Zealand.

It’s probably one of the most bio-diverse destinations on Earth – home to tropical rainforests, pristine white sand beaches, mineral-rich eerily primeval river valleys and the world’s largest lagoon (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). For botany buffs, this place is the mothership: It’s home to hundreds of plants and animals found nowhere else in the world – many from the late Cretaceous period, when dinosaurs ruled. It’s also about great beaches, fabulous French food and warm, friendly locals.

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Isle of Pines

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ou won’t see a highrise, a stoplight, even a single neon sign here. What you will see are pines rising beside palms, papaya growing wild, miles of powdery white sand beaches and a sea in so many shades of blue – from pale turquoise to polished lapis, from cerulean to cobalt – that it defies description.

“I have to dig out my Crayola box to decide what color I’m about to float in,” said Marybeth Bond, a San Franciscan snorkeling in the placid lagoon that surrounds the island. Part of the French territory of New Caledonia, Isle of Pines is a 25-minute flight southeast of Noumea, situated almost astride the Tropic of Capricorn. The island measures 9.3 miles by 8.1 miles and is home to only about 2,000 people. Native Melanesians (or Kanaks) account for about 95 percent of the island’s population; they live in eight tribes, each with its own chief.

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The People of New Caledonia

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elanesians were here first. The Kanaks, as they’re called, still account for more than 40 percent of the archipelago’s population of around 250,000. Tribes own about a third of the land.

The French came in the latter half of the 1800s – prisoners, prostitutes, widows and orphans mostly. The former penal colony remains a French territory. A good number of Japanese and Indochinese came on contract in the 1890s to work New Caledonia’s rich nickel mines – which still hold about 25 percent of the world’s known nickel reserves.

everything just as it was a thousand years ago – or even 150,000 years ago. You dive and see no other boats around; you don’t share the reef with a thousand other tourists.” But even those who don’t dive, find plenty to see and do in New Caledonia. Explore from Noumea Noumea, the capital and only sizable city, is a good base from which to explore the main island, Grande Terre. Save time to visit some of the other islands in the archipelago, including Isle of Pines.

Americans? More than a million spent time here during World War II, when New Caledonia was an important Allied base. These days only about 1,000 U.S. citizens visit the archipelago each year.

For early risers, the Noumea Market, a short walk from the cruise terminal, is a great place to start. It opens at 5 a.m. and operates until around noon daily. Buy everything from smoked sea salt to sarongs, from vegetables to videos. “It’s also an excellent place to mingle with locals,” said guide Francois Tran of Caledonia Tours.

“Americans come mostly for the diving,” said Jean-Michel Foutrein, director of New Caledonia Tourism. “When you dive here, you find

For a bit of historical perspective, walk a few blocks to the Noumea Town Museum, the city’s oldest building (from 1874), steps from

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Noumea Town Square (known locally as Coconut Tree Square). Don’t miss the museum’s basement war room for a look at what the U.S. did here during World War II. About five miles northeast of Noumea, find the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, named for the leader of the Kanak independence movement who was assassinated in 1989. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the stunning complex was inspired by Melanesian tribal huts. It celebrates Kanak civilization – and in Piano’s words, is a place that will “pass on their memory to their grandchildren.” Hikers’ paradise Hikers will love New Caledonia. At Giant Ferns Park Botanical Reserve about 90 minutes north of Noumea, get lost on trails that meander around and under giant tree ferns that stretch 60 to 70 feet high. Or drive about 45 minutes east to the surreal landscape of Blue River Provincial Park, where the earth is so iron-rich it has the look of powdered rust. Park visitors will find the eerie remains of a rainforest that drowned when the Yate River was dammed a half century ago; the forest still stands, a haunting dry skeleton of its former self. Visitors also find hundreds of plants and animals that date to primeval times. “The park is a living museum for the old plants of our planet,” said tour guide Tran. “Ninety percent of the plants you’ll find here are found nowhere else on Earth – because the soil is so alkaline. “Not even worms can live in this soil, but carnivorous plants can,” he added, demonstrating the predatory mechanics of a carnivorous green pod that was growing near a delicate white orchid. The region’s fauna are unique, too. The cagou, a flightless bird and the country’s emblem, is the fifth rarest bird in the world – with only about 800 left in the wild, all in New Caledonia. We spotted two in the park. The boardwalk Back in Noumea, reserve time to walk the boardwalk at sunset. See families packing up after a lazy day at the beach; watch men gathering hollow metal balls after an afternoon of petanque play; be awed by the gravity defying acrobatics of kite surfers.

The Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre was designed by Renzo Piano.On opposite page, fresh fruit is center stage at the Noumea Market; water toys line the beach along Noumea bayfront.

Ahhh. Then ponder dinner. French cuisine, of course.

If You Go: New Caledonia Getting There: Aircalin, also known as Air Caledonie, is the international airline of New Caledonia. It offers flights from LAX, SFO (and South Pacific locales) to Tontouta International Airport in Noumea. www.aircalin.com Staying There: Chateau Royal Beach Resort & Spa. A former Club Med reopened in 2011, offers 108 contemporary apartment-style units, pool, spa, gym, restaurant, bar, WiFi. Rates start at about $260 per night, including breakfast. www.office-tourisme.nc/en/ ch%C3%A2teau-royal-beach-resort-spa Le Meridien Noumea. 245 rooms, pool, gym, business center, four restaurants, bar, free WiFi. Rates start at about $215 per night, including breakfast. www.starwoodhotels.com/lemeridien.

Guide Service: Francois Tran can be contacted at caledoniatours@ lagoon.nc or phone +687 786 838. Know Before You Go: The best time to visit is April through December. Summer (mid-November through March) temps average 78-86. Winter (June through August) temps drop to the mid 70s during the day, about 60 at night New Caledonia uses the French Pacific Franc (XPF). Credit cards are accepted by most major retailers; US dollars are not. Don’t be surprised to find long lines at Noumea ATMs; machines often run out of money by afternoon. The official language is French, but English is widely spoken. Tap water is generally safe to drink. Tipping is not customary. More Info:.www.visitnewcaledonia.com

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the Isle of Pines CONTINUED FROM PAGE 57

Explore the culture The Kanaks call their island Kunie. Captain Cook named it Isle of Pines in 1774 when he first spotted the spires of its native Araucaria pines. An island tour doesn’t take long. Vao is the only village – and there’s not much to it: a general store, a gas station, a church (built in 1860) and a cemetery. The village stages a farmer’s market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. There’s no official museum here, but visiting the weathered wooden totems near St. Maurice Beach provides a better understanding of the cultural diversity of the island. The aged tribal carvings surround a Roman Catholic monument commemorating the first Mass on the island. Savor the setting The main reason people visit here is to play: to sink their toes into the warm talcum sands of the beaches that edge the island, to kayak the shades-ofblue lagoon that surrounds it, to snorkel its colorful reefs full of fish found nowhere else on Earth. Don’t miss an excursion to the stunning Nokanhui Atoll – a spit of powdery white sand surrounded by undulating azure. It’s a 25-minute boat ride from the mainland – but visitors feel a world away, as if they’ve been magically plunked onto a South Pacific postcard. Stroll the narrow spit slowly, allowing its image to etch into your mind’s eye – for easy recall later, when the trials of life intrude. Nobody ever wants to leave Nokanhui, but departure is easier for those who know they’re motoring off to Brush Island for lunch. While indigenous guides grill a feast of just-caught fish and huge spiny lobsters, visitors are on their own. They stroll the pine-fringed white sand and snorkel among colorful reef residents. They stretch out on towels, close their eyes, listen to the gentle tide lapping the shore, palm fronds clacking in the warm breeze – the simple sounds of paradise. “Pinch yourself,” said Bond, breaking the reverie. “This is really real.”

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Weathered totems were erected by the ancestors of the eight tribes that still populate Isle of Pines. On opposite page lunch on Brush Island is a seafood feast


If you go: Isle of Pines Getting there: Aircalin provides daily nonstop service linking Noumea’s Magenta Airport with Isle of Pines. Flights take about 25 minutes and roundtrip fares start at about $175. . www.aircalin.com. On most Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays, the high-speed catamaran Betico offers roundtrip ferry service linking Noumea with Isle of Pines. The trip takes about 2 hours, 15 minutes each way and runs about half the price of air transportation.

Staying there: Le Meridien Isle of Pines is the most luxurious hotel on the island. 50 rooms, pool, full-service spa, complimentary use of snorkel gear, restaurant & bar. Rates start at about $375 per night. www.starwoodhotels.com/lemeridien/. Playing there: Your hotel can book boat trips to Nokanhui and Brush Island. Expect to pay anywhere from about $90 to $110 per person, depending on your lunch choice. More info: www.isle-of-pines.com.

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READER TRAVEL PHOTOS

Duncan Moore San Diego, CA TOP: Visiting the Amber Fort outside of Jaipur is a humbling experience. The immense size, intricate architecture, and amazing views are all overwhelming at first. Getting lost in the 16th century palace was the highlight of my visit, wandering from room to room and imagining the ancient rulers that inhabited them. I took this picture at midday when the sun was at its brightest and enhanced the vibrant golden color of the fort. LEFT: Walking through the congested alleys of Old Delhi, the Jama Masjid Mosque seems to appear out of nowhere. As you step through the gates you leave the chaos of Delhi behind and enter an oasis of calm. I managed to capture these two women just washing their hands and talking, taking a break from the craziness outside. Wine Dine & Travel Fall 2013 | 62


Robin Kleven Dishon | San Diego, CA I took this candid shot of a just-married couple on a chilly, rainy afternoon last October in Paris. Despite temperatures in the 40s, the bride wore a sleeveless gown and feathery wrap that contrasted with the parkas in the crowd. As they posed for their photographer at the Palais de Chaillot – often incorporating the black and white umbrella seen behind them – I snapped a few photos and wished them well before heading back to the shelter of the metro. (Camera: Canon Powershot SD1100)

Linda Carter | Crawfordville, FL Anticipation for this trip was running high. I had finally arrived on my first trip to Venice. Boarding the waterbus, I headed for the Westin Europe & Regina. The waterbus might well have been my own private tour, so many picture-perfect buildings at just the perfect vantage point. Finally, standing on the small deck outside on the back, I snapped pictures as I passed, including this sightseeing couple on a private gondola ride. Our readers are traveling the globe recording their adventures in surprisingly creative ways. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. If you have a photo you’re proud of it just might be featured in our next magazine. Submit a photo and a brief description of the shot to photos@winedineandtravel.com. winedineandtravel.com | 63


ACTION DESTINATIONS

Hadrian’s Wall

A Walk Through Time By Carl H. Larsen

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ake a hike, I've been told many times in my career. So, heading into my bucket-list years, I decided to take up the advice so many have freely rendered. Not just any hike. No walk up San Diego County’s Cowles Mountain, not an exploration of the Pacific Crest Trail or up and down our lovely coastline.

I wanted something that combined a rich history, a bit of urban grittiness, beautiful scenery and bracing, unpredictable weather. Throw in a string of fabulous museums, active archeological sites, stubborn cattle and sheep and a heavy ration of mud. And, just when things got tough, kick in a warm pub with a roaring fireplace. So, here I am, back in San Diego, after having walked last October much of the Hadrian's Wall Path in northern England, an 84-mile east-west route connecting Newcastle on the North Sea with Bowness-on-Solway on the Solway Firth to the west. The path follows the line of Hadrian’s Wall, built by the Romans as a defensive fortification in A.D. 122. To prove my claim, I returned with a “passport” stamped at way stations along the route. For my hiking companion, I was picky. I chose friend Tom Olson of La Jolla, a precise Ph.D. engineer, who has numerous major-league hiking excursions – several in Europe – under his belt, including the famous Pilgrims Trail from southern France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Together we polished off 49.2 miles of the 84-mile path, which was a feat since the previous week the area had been inundated with the worst rains and flooding

Above: Hiker Tom Olson prepares to eat a hearty dinner at a welcoming pub. Left: Near Steel Rigg, photographer Olson quashed any notion that this was an easy hike. Below: The author surveys what is left of one of the milecastles, or gates, in the wall.

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“The wall’s construction by Emperor Hadrian was an admission by the Romans that they would not be able to occupy the entire island of Great Britain, as unconquered tribes to the north continually upset plans for Roman dominance.”

in 30 years. At night, we found refuge in B&Bs with lovely names such as Hadrian's Barn and Walwick Farmhouse in out-of-the way places aptly titled Heddon-on-the Wall and Walltown. The whole corridor, which comprises the largest visible remnant of the Roman Empire, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well. Now, I’m no Roman legionnaire, let alone an avid walker, so I needed some help early on to move from what had been a longheld dream into reality. I had broached the Hadrian idea to Tom two years ago and we began the active planning six months before departing on our seven-day hike. My physical preparation for this effort and sometime ordeal included daily half-hour walks around Lake Murray with my wife and an early-morning outing each day with a neighbor. My first mistake was not securing a sponsor. After scouring local outdoors stores, I was festooned with logos -- Eddie Bauer (backpack and parka), Ex-Officio (drip-dry underwear), Patagonia (socks), Merrell (ever-important boots) and Swissgear (for a greatly needed hiking stick). Using maps available on Amazon.com, Tom plotted our daily walking regimen, mile by mile, familiarizing himself with landmarks, hills and the tidal salt flats at the western end of the hike near Bowness. Our ace up the sleeve would be the Hadrian’s' Wall Country Bus, a seasonal service that parallels the route and picks up hikers (and stragglers) along the way. My job was to secure pre-booked accommodations, generally B&Bs. For that, I used Trip Advisor and my maxim: Toss out the

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best and worst evaluations and focus on the mid-range. The hardest part about this was to find a B&B located close to where we would end each day’s walk. Many of the “mom and pop” B&Bs do not take credit cards, so I risked sending a cash deposit in British pounds by mail to one. (It arrived safely). Our daily expenses, including lodging which included breakfasts, amounted to about $125. The wall is not evident along the whole route. Parts of it have been graded over, while the stone in other lengths has been used by successive generations for construction materials. Paydirt came on the second day, when we took off from the remnants of Housesteads Roman Fort along steep crags, walking for a bit on the wall itself -- the only place where this is allowed. “Watch what the trail tells you,” Tom advised along the way, as he focused on hard-to-see Roman defensive works beyond the wall, the marks left by other hikers and the early signs of wash-outs and ankle-deep mud just ahead. When the wall first reveals itself--and the parallel vellum, or defensive trench that adjoins it--one realizes what a herculean engineering project this was, and how practiced the Roman surveyors were. This stone wall, and the well-trained forces that defended it, presented a form of shock and awe to would-be aggressors. Museums along the way depicted the full scope of the wall, and the numerous forts, villages and outposts that lined the way. At Vindolanda, the once-buried Roman fort has been excavated. Here was wfound an icon of Britain, the Vindolanda Tablets, which amount to thin wood-based postcards written by the Romans that have survived in the damp earth. One notes the preparations


for an upcoming birthday party, while another complains of the quality of the wine sent to the fort from “back home.” Many can be seen at the British Museum in London. A few miles west, the Roman Army Museum presents the story of the legions that protected the fortification through an excellent film “Edge of the Empire.” Not only were Romans guarding the walls, but others in their ranks came from Syria or North Africa. The wall's construction by Emperor Hadrian was an admission by the Romans that they would not be able to occupy the entire island of Great Britain, as unconquered tribes to the north continually upset plans for Roman dominance. Thousands of Roman soldiers from today's Europe, the Middle East and North Africa were posted along this fortification for a period of about 400 years. Today, as then, borders dominate our political discussion, a thought continually presented through this hike. After the Romans left, this region endured decades of marauding border raiders, both English and Scots, known as the Reivers. With the recent agreement by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Scottish politician Alex Salmond setting a referendum on Scottish independence for 2014, this onetime wild border region may again take a front seat in geopolitical terms. Heading home, Tom said the hike was more arduous than he had expected – “a good walk.” Still, we suffered no mishaps and persevered through rain and

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nationalrail.co.uk and www.britrail.com Hikers arriving from London can take direct trains to either Carlisle or Newcastle. Accommodations: Newcastle – Premier Inn Newcastle Quayside. The Path runs right outside the front door of this reasonably priced riverfront hotel in the heart of Newcastle. See www.premierinn.eu/ en/hotel/pinn-newcastle Heddon on the Wall – Hadrian’s Barn. A bit off the track, this is a separate building offering a bathroom, great room with a stocked kitchen, and an adjoining bedroom. Hikers cook their own breakfast using food in the cupboards and refrigerator. www.hadriansbarn.co.uk Walwick – Stay at a real working farm along the way. This farmhouse has fabulous views over the countryside, a cozy lounge and nice bedrooms with shared bathroom. www.walwickfarmhouse.com.uk

Stones left unturned -- remains of the wall today. muck. Help came in many forms -- from the innkeeper who offered to launder our mud-caked pants to another who picked us up after dinner at a pub. But this walk offers something few others can – travel back in time to understand a civilization that has shaped ours. As Tom says, “Watch what the trail tells you.”

Walltown – This is a single story B&B in a rural setting just off the trail and across the street from the Roman Army Museum, a must-see stop for hikers. It is located just to the west of some of the most scenic areas of the Wall Path. The Hadrian’s Wall Country Bus stops at the driveway and provides direct connection to Newcastle, Carlisle and the Haltwhistle train station. A restaurant and pub are a 15-minute walk away. www. walltownlodge.com Carlisle – The County Hotel downtown offers basic, inexpensive accommodation in the heart of the city, a short walk from the train station with direct rail service to London, and to Newcastle, as well as Scotland. www.countycarlisle.com Restaurants and pubs:

If you hike the Hadrian’s Wall Path There are many Internet resources to help plan a hike along Hadrian’s Wall. The first decision to make is whether you want to walk from west to east, or east to west, as we did, starting at Segundum Roman Fort in Newcastle. For information on hiking, accommodation and places to see along the Hadrian’s Wall Path, see www.visithadrianswall. co.uk. This site has information on accommodation, the trail and the handy Hadrian’s Wall Country Bus, a seasonal service that runs along the route of the Wall. It also has information on baggage courier services that collect baggage from B&Bs and hotels and deliver it to your next night’s lodging. That way, you only need to walk with those essential provisions for a day hike. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the many archeological sites and museums along the Path, including Segundum, Chester’s Roman Fort, Housesteads Roman Fort, and Vindolanda.

Newcastle: The Bascule, Unit 1, St. Peter’s Wharf, Newcastle Upon Tyne. A great first stop for hikers starting out from Wallsend, a bit to the east, with a large bar and clean restrooms. Newcastle: The Quayside. Part of the Wetherspoon chain, this restaurant and pub offers great value for money, and is located right on the path in central Newcastle. There’s an outside dining terrace overlooking the River Tyne. 35-37 The Close, Quayside, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Heddon-on-the-Wall: The Swan at Heddon. Great meals, with an authentic British carvery. The best restaurant we found along the Wall Path. The Swan is part of the Great British Carvery chain. www.greatbritishcarvery.co.uk/ Greenhead. The Greenhead Hotel and Hostel offers a full pub and restaurant as well as hotel and hostel accommodation. www:greenheadhotelandhostel.co.uk

See www.visitengland.com for detailed information on visits to England.

Burgh-by-Sands: Greyhound Inn. A great place to celebrate after completing your hike if you started in Newcastle. It’s midway between Carlisle and Bowness-on-Solway, the end of the path. Brush up on your British history, and you’ll know why there’s a statue of Edward I right outside.

For information on rail services throughout the UK, see www.

PHOTO CREDIT: Carl H. Larsen, Tom Olson

See www.visitbritain.com for events, maps and travel information throughout the United Kingdom.

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