Maui Dining Guide: My Favorite Eats

Maui has so much amazing food, it is hard to narrow down my favorite bites! We spent 10 days on this tropical island paradise and we ate & drank our way around Wailea, Kaanapali, Napili, Paia, Lahaina and Hana. Here I am sharing my favorite restaurants, snacks, dishes, cocktails–from breakfast to lunch to dinner.

Napili Kai Beach Resort: Tropical Boutique in Maui

Maui has no shortage of hotels, resorts, and B&Bs, but if you want a truly unique, natural, boutique resort that has as much history as it does coastline, Napili Kai might be the right fit.
I stayed here in February for 3 nights and I couldn’t get over the location! The Polynesian resort occupies a beautiful oceanside cliff and sandy bay–with postcard-worthy palm-tree studded beach. Plenty to do, there’s an 18 hole putting course, massage, a number of pools, and the delicious indoor/outdoor Sea House Grill, which serves up local catch & creative takes on Hawaiian dishes.

I really loved our oceanfront studio room, which had its own kitchen and a balcony that gave us front row seats to the sunset each night.

The resort is intimate enough that you can make it your own and walk through lush grounds felt like a step in the jungle. I’d definitely recommend this resort to couples, families, and groups of friends. When there, I noticed that many guests return year after year, and I can understand why.

Must Stay in Maui: Four Seasons Maui

This beach resort is an oasis. It is truly Hawaiian, yet has amazing pools, fabulous rooms, a pristine sandy beach, a spa and incredible restaurants. Beautiful to walk through yet delicious, luxurious, attentive and intimate–Four Seasons Maui knows how to make you feel like you are the only people in this tropical paradise.

Don’t miss Ferraro’s for exquisite outdoor dining, the Spa for their outdoor Hale treatments and a cabana at the Serenity pool. If you are adventurous, I LOVED the Outrigger Canoe experience in the early morning.

My Coachella Journey with GoPro

2 Friends + 2 GoPros + 1 Jucy Campervan = 1 epic weekend at Coachella Music Festival 2015. Explore more of this magical, musical, camping journey and see why Coachella is best done by camping!

 

The Monkey Tree Hotel in Palm Springs

If you haven’t visited Palm Springs yet, you need to go. It is like no other place I’ve ever been. And this little boutique hotel is the perfect oasis for your exploration in the desert. The Monkey Tree Hotel has retro charm, spacious & stylish rooms, great breakfast, fun pools & ideal location in Palm Springs. I have a perfect weekend away, lounging in the floating flamingos, enjoying free Sangria at the tiki bar, using their hot/cold tubs & sauna and just hanging our 1960s theme room.
This hotel has a whole lot of history too! Designed in 1960 by Albert Frey, the Monkey Tree Hotel was a favorite among the Hollywood glamorous set. JFK, Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Katherine Hepburn, the Beatles… the list goes on. Ask the husband & wife owners about this–they know all the 60s gossip!

Harry Potter World & Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood has a lot of celebrities at Christmas time: Harry Potter, The Grinch, Jurassic Park Dinosaurs… and I spent the day visiting them all and filming on my GoPro! Harry Potter World just opened earlier in 2016 so I spent a magical day checking out Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, the rides, the foods, the wands and the Butterbeer!

And since it was Christmas season, they even had Who-Ville, with the Grinch, the famous Who Christmas Tree and many Who’s walking about, ready to speak with you.
We even snuck in a Jurassic Park ride!
I hope this GoPro vlog guide helps you make the most of your trip to Universal! Tip: Don’t bother with the buttebeer!

Martha’s Vineyard’s Oldest Hotel: The Kelley House

This historic hotel located in downtown Edgartown feels anything but old. The suites and rooms are classically New England yet modern wit a nautical twist. I loved the pool and the outdoor pool bar area. The Kelley House also has a great restaurant, the Newes from America, which serves up pub-style food and great drinks in a very cozy, local atmosphere.

An Island Hotel You Need to See on Martha’s Vineyard

If you’ve ever been to Martha’s Vineyard, you understand how quaint, historical, charming and transportive this little island off of Cape Cod truly is. I’ve been coming since I was a kid and I can definitely say it is on my short list of happy places.
There are a handful of towns and even more places to stay but where you should definitely consider is Edgartown and the Harbor View Hotel. Elegant, classic, and true to the personality of the town, this hotel is a destination on it’s own. An amazing pool, comfortable & spacious rooms and great dining options all contribute to this hotel’s charm. And don’t forget, the best views, in my opinion, are from the Harbor View Hotel’s deck. This prime viewpoint showcases the Harbor Lighthouse better than anywhere else.

7 Tips for Surviving an Overnight Train Trip

You always hear the phrase: “it’s more about the journey than the destination.” I can’t say that I’ve enjoy all my flights more than the place I was traveling to explore, but I can say that train travel is ALL about the journey.
I had traveled on the sleek, timely trains of Europe, crisscrossing Germany, France and Italy, but I had never spent more than a few hours on New Jersey Transit–my only American experience on the rails. I decided to dive head first and take a 3 day, 56 hour direct Amtrak train from blustery Chicago to sunny Los Angeles. I skipped all the the baby steps and dove in full throttle.
Now, spending two nights and 3 full days on a bumpy train without more than a ten minute “smoking stop” to breathe in fresh air, isn’t for everyone. But I have to say, it is an experience that not only teaches you a lot about this beautiful “Fifty Nifty” but also a lot about yourself.
I profiled the food, the sleeper cars, the entertainment options and I even interviewed fellow passengers in this 5 part video series. But most importantly, I’ve come up with my seven best pieces of advice for you enthusiastic train travelers. 7 Tips for Surviving an Overnight Train Trip

1. Turn your phone into a wireless hotspot
There’s very spotty service in many areas that we trained through so don’t be stuck without email, social media & Youtube videos. Make sure you can tether your phone to your laptop so you can catch up on TV shows, track your route and stay connected to the world.
2. Download Entertainment ahead of time
With no wifi on board and limited service via your phone, be sure to pre-download all you need in terms of TV, movies, books & magazines. You’d be amazed at how many series you can crush in 56 hours.
3. Bring Games
Cards and other portable games will help pass the time and if you are traveling solo, allow you to meet new people!
4. Separate Bag
When you get on your car, there are designated areas for large bags. They are crowded and you will have to fight the pile of other bags to get to your toothbrush unless you take an auxillary bag. I had a small duffle bag that I had my clothes for the ride, pajamas, toiletries and comfy shoes. This was the only bag I used while on the train and I could keep it right in my cabin. If you don’t have a cabin, make sure it’s small enough to take with you for meals.
5. Check out the Cars
There is a panoramic view car that is wonderful for watching the world go by, but there’s also an upstairs and downstairs food car for a change of scenery. And remember, you can walk to other cars to get your blood pumping!
6. Bring Booze!
If alcohol is not on your menu, ignore this tip. But if it is, know that there aren’t many options on board and the limited selection that is available is very expensive. Bring some bottles of wine, a case of beer or your favorite libation and bring plastic cups. You will thank me later.
7. Window Gaze
Thinking back to this trip, the most magical part was really getting to see the dramatic American landscapes change before your very eyes. Be sure to take photos as you go along and you’ll be shocked at the difference that an hour can make in the moving picture that is outside your window.
Watch the rest of the series here–>

MacArthur Place in Sonoma, California

Recently, I checked out the MacArthur Place, a boutique property just steps from downtown Sonoma in

Recently, I checked out the MacArthur Place, a boutique property just steps from downtown Sonoma in wine country of Northern California.. I very much enjoyed the layout of the property with all the rooms in cottages throughout a nicely manicured lawn and garden areas. The pool was a refreshing treat, as was the daily wine & cheese hour. The little luxuries here made our stay that much better and the rooms were very well appointed. Don’t miss Saddles Restaurant when you go–their steakhouse is one of the best dinners in town. For all the details: the good, the bad and the ugly, watch my review!