Columnist: San Francisco Upscale Travel, Examiner.com
Staff Writer: Epicurean-Traveler.com
Society of American Travel Writers
Bay Area Travel Writers
'Quality on a Daley Basis'
Destinations: Asia: Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam; Africa: Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia; Canada: Whistler (BC); Europe: Austria (Vienna), Canary Islands, Hungary (Budapest), Santorini; Mexico: Guanajuato, Oaxaca, Pozos de Minerales, Riviera Maya, San Miguel de Allende: USA: Antelope Canyon (AZ), Boston (MA), Maine, Monterey (CA), Napa (CA), Santa Fe (NM), Sonoma (CA).
India's Tumeric Trail Centuries of invasions and immigration, of comings and goings by marauders and merchants have cumulatively left their mark on every corner of Indian culture. This intermingling of influences has cre-ated one of the world's most popular cuisines. What better frame-work, I thought, for a deeper appreciation of the country's culture than though its food? Hardly an original idea but certainly a worthy one.
Travel Bites Through VietnamThe road to the real Vietnam runs through its kitchens and markets. On a recent gastronomic quest to savor as much of the country’s rich and varied cuisine as possible, I found modes of transport every bit as diverse as the nation’s menus. These included a train ride on the historic Reunification Express from Saigon to Phan Thiet, and a side-car journey on a vintage red motorcycle, cruising mountain roads past pungent tea and coffee plantations, navigating narrow byways where the only impediments to our passage were squawking chickens and the lone little goat shepherd tending his flock.
Vienna, Europe's Best Kept Secret A generous beauty, vivacious Vienna encourages visitors to indulge themselves fully. Going native means immersing oneself in the city’s physical beauty, its coffeehouses and cafes, magnificent museums and musical concerts. And, of course, this is the city that gave birth to the ultimate chocolate dessert, the Sacher-Torte.
O'Keefe Country - Santa Fe A painting made me do it. I’m not sure whether it was “Purple Hills II” or “Lavender Hill with Green 1952” that gave me the itch but when a friend gifted me with a coffee table book commemorating Georgia O’Keeffe’s artwork, I knew I had to set foot on the land that inspired so many of her paintings.
Oaxaca NightlifeFrom cool and classy to centuries-old and traditional, Oaxaca never fails to entertain. Whether it’s sassy and sultry, simmering with sensuality or slow and easy with a soothing after dinner drink, Oaxaca nightlife serves up a full buffet of choice for everyone’s taste buds. Depending on the level of euphoria sought, patrons can relax to the mellow rhythms of marimba sonatas or get their groove going with hot and fiery salsa dancing until the wee hours. The night is always young for those who care to embrace what the locals call la vida nocturna.
While spending a week in San Miguel de Allende, a city in the Mexican highlands that I love, I heard stories of a nearby ghost town that has gained new footing as a haven for artists. My curiosity was piqued by local expats around town, mostly retired Americans now living in San Miguel, who told me that the former mining colony of Mineral de Pozos was being repopulated by a small num-ber of Mexicans, Europeans and Americans drawn to the city’s austere beauty, reasonable housing prices and serene, small town atmosphere. I was intrigued.