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 butterbeer!

Glamping & Wilderness Estates at The Resort at Paws Up

Luxury camping, or “glamping,” was born at The Resort at Paws Up. These tents have full bathrooms, full beds and stylishly rustic touches with decks. Depending on the camp you choose, you could have river or mountain views. I enjoyed a tour of the River Camp and dinner in their pavilion, to the tune the eagles and the calm stream.
I stayed in a Wilderness Estate, which is a luxury on a whole other level. With a giant fireplace and open-air common room, a lofted living room, outdoor grill and hot tub, these private residences make you feel like you are living in Montana. Each stunning and unique bedroom has it’s own bathroom along with a jacuzzi. Lucky for me, mine had incredible views of the meadows beyond.

Let me know what you think!

For more information, check out www.pawsup.com

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.

Feasting in Montana: A Long Table Dinner Event

I’d NEVER been to Montana so getting to see it for the first time in the summer, while staying at The Resort at Paws Up, felt too good to be true. But it actually, got even better. The main event of my long weekend with my gal pal Valorie was The Bounty on the Blackfoot. Several times a year, Paws Up hosts these spectacular outdoor dinners featuring their own Executive Chef Ben Jones, as well as a well-regarded guest chef. In this case, we had Chef Brooke Williamson, Top Chef alum, and owner of 3 outstanding restaurants in Southern California.
This particular dinner was held on Saturday night, out in one of the wide open meadows, just as the sun was setting. It started with a farmer’s market, where local vendors came in as guests learned more about local Montana goods. Then later guests took their seats at one, VERY long table, to dine, drink and laugh as the sky turned pink.
I profiled the event and even got to interview Chefs Ben and Brooke, as they prepared from early in the morning to at the time of service out in the field.
It was simply put: outstanding.
Learn more about their Long Table events here: http://www.pawsup.com/montana-long-ta…

Food at The Resort at Paws Up

Open air dinner, picnic on the trail, campfire smores, riverside dinners–the food at The Resort at Paws Up is an experience all it’s own. Out in the middle of 37,000 acres of Montana wilderness, this resort is elegance meets rustic. From the ample breakfast spread to amazing cozy bar Tank, the upscale Pomp for dinner or even dining in your camp pavilion or wilderness estate–the quality is top notch.
My favorite part–there’s a huge focus on local vendors so you are drinking whiskey from down the road, enjoying meats from nearby farms and devouring vegetables from the farmer’s market!

Outdoor Adventures at The Resort at Paws Up

River rafting. Horseback Riding. Forest Picnic. Massage in a luxury tent. There’s SO much you can do at this huge resort, I definitely had a blast trying to fit as much as I could in just 3 days. Check out my favorite outdoor adventures at this working ranch and luxury glamping resort!

Special thanks to gal pal and camerawoman, Valorie Darling!

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!