Outlook Inn on Orcas Island: Perfect Stillness

I’m sitting outside in the wee hours because I can’t bear to go to bed and miss a moment of this night. The air is cool—no, frigid—but the balcony is heated, and I’m holding a warming glass of red wine, … Continue reading

Madison Hotel Gives Triple Threat in Memphis

Madison Hotel Memphis

Photo Courtesy of Madison Hotel

The rooftop sunset with fabulous cocktails overlooking the Mississippi River or three creative chefs, competing to see who can prepare the best of three courses in the hotel restaurant below. This is the story of a night of exquisite competition at the Madison Hotel Memphis, one of the Bluff City’s great hotels. The chef of the hotel’s restaurant, eighty3, found himself competing against two visiting chefs, one from Las Vegas via Los Angeles and the other from the Northeast with a hint of Hawaii.

Continue reading

Cape Rey Carlsbad Brings SoCal to Life

Cape Rey Carlsbad

Surfers paddle through the break of the Pacific Ocean in the distance as I sit on a balcony with morning coffee in hand, observing it all. The Southern California experience is many things, and I imagine watching surfers paddle out from my hotel room balcony plays a central role, or at least in my experience. After a couple of whirlwind days in Santa Monica, finding a more relaxing vibe at the Cape Rey Carlsbad in North San Diego County brings us to what I discover to be the epicenter of SoCal fun.

Continue reading

FlipKey Apartment Rental in Santa Monica

FlipKey

Getting close to the Santa Monica Pier at our FlipKey rental.

Finding lodging options in one of the largest cities in the U.S. wasn’t going to be an easy task. With a multitude of hotel rooms, condos and apartments to consider, not to mention what neighborhood we’d want to stay in while in the Los Angeles area, the lodging search could’ve been overwhelming. But when I decided to check out a FlipKey apartment rental in Santa Monica, the selection was no longer overwhelming.

Continue reading

Luxury, Relaxation at Carlsbad’s Omni La Costa

Omni La Costa

Beaches, outdoors, theme parks, relaxation and luxury all meet in Carlsbad, Calif., a small city just north of San Diego where the sunsets spill gently into the Pacific Ocean in a shimmering display of perfection. About two miles east of the Pacific Ocean sits the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, a sprawling property with more than 600 rooms, eight swimming pools, restaurants, two golf courses, a spa and so much more. A weekend was enough to sample everything the Omni la Costa has to offer, but it doesn’t mean you’d ever want to leave.

Continue reading