"Leave nothing but memories. Take nothing but photographs." is an inspired idea that we would love to follow in our travels.



Yet, we all want to see, eat and yes shop in amazing places.


I'm your girl for all the temptations around the world. I will guide you on the must-see and must-dos.


I am your Travel Temptress.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Palm Beach, Florida

The town of Palm Beach is located in South Florida. Noted for being a glitzy locale with luxury estates and beautiful beaches, it is also a perfect weekend getaway.

Separated by West Palm by bridges, Palm Beach is easily accessed by I-95. Aside from the beaches, below are two notable must-see stops.

The Breakers Hotel was founded in 1896 and is a landmark in Palm Beach.
This opulent luxury hotel is well worth a visit. If the room rate isn't in your budget, no worries. You can book a reservation at some of their restaurants (see their website
https://www.thebreakers.com
/ as some restaurants are only for resort members and hotel guests).

Tip: Be sure to let the valet service know that you are dining at one of the restaurants.
Take your ticket with you and have the waiter validate. You will receive free parking. Tip well, as the valet service is excellent.




75 artisans from Italy were brought in 1926 for reconstruction, after a fire in 1925. The European influence and opulence is evident in the grand design.









Guests loved the hotel's location at "the breakers" because of the proximity to the water and crashing waves.


I highly recommend the Italian Restaurant at the Breakers. Their food is delicious and service is world class.


I would dine here just for the bread service.



Of course, there is much more to see, eat and do in Palm Beach.

Worth Ave. is also a must-see stop on your tour of the Town. Enjoy shopping and a gelato while you stroll the Ave. Tip: There are non-dairy and adult only alcohol infused options, as well as traditional gelato.






My personal favorite stop is at Jennifer Tattanelli's shop. Luxury Italian leather goods, shoes, and clothing are divine.



Oh My!




There are numerous boutiques to explore.





And, don't be surprised if you are treated to an impromtu fashion show while you dine al fresco.


Go enjoy the sunny weather, beautiful surroundings, and some pretty serious luxury car watching!






Sunday, February 10, 2019

Lake Como, Bellagio & Varenna


The Lake Como Area is in the Lombardy region of Italy. It is a must-see if you travel to Northern Italy. It is easily reachable from the Milan Malpensa airport, about an hour by car. With steep hills, I would not suggest traveling by bus or train, unless you only have a backpack or small amount of luggage. Another advantage to traveling by car is the amazing views. You also get to stay in quaint nearby towns like Lezzeno. Our B&B there afforded the below view out of our windows.   

 

There is no shortage of lake view restaurants, boutiques, and villas to visit. I would suggest September or later in the year, if you want to avoid the crowds.




Be prepared for stairs in a few areas, but nothing too strenuous.



My favorite village is Varenna. Definitely visit the Villa Monastero gardens.  The views are spectacular.









This area is a perfectly tranquil start or ending to your visit to the Boot. Add it to your list today!


Friday, January 25, 2019

Lucerne, Switzerland

Switzerland is clean, scenic and a little more expensive than other European destinations.
We found it reasonable for a few days stopover to Austria and Germany.
If you are driving, be sure to purchase a vignette (sticker for the car windshield) at a gas station before you cross the border.

I chose Lucerne because I was interested in a compact city that was more natural beauty, less business hub. And, I was really interested in seeing the covered bridges with their ornate paintings. I have many other places in this amazing country on the list. But, this was a great start.

Beautiful Alps, Lakes, and awesome chocolate await! 









 The Lion Monument is a beautiful rock relief that commemorates the Swiss Guards that were massacred in 1792.






Saturday, January 19, 2019

Istanbul, Turkey

The former Constantinople, Istanbul is one of my favorite cities on the Planet.
Existing in Europe and Asia, it is rich in history, culture and so, so good food.

A few things to note: US citizens need to get a Visa. It is easy to do online. Currently it costs $20. http://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa

Where to stay -
If you stay in the historic district, all the major sites are easily reached by walking.

On the Do not miss list:

The Basilica Cistern -
[For a fun introduction, watch the movie "Inferno" before your trip]



 An added bonus is the pleasant temperature when you venture inside the Cistern.


 Medusa stones in the Cistern


Topkapi Palace, The Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophia are also close by. Do not Miss!



*NOTE:  Women need to cover their hair & shoulders. Tourists wearing shorts should have knees covered. The Blue Mosque is an active mosque, so be respectful. Luckily, it's such a tourist attraction, that they offer a cover-up for men & women to use at the entrance. Also, you can buy scarves everywhere in Istanbul. Bonus souvenir to bring home!


 Inside Hagia Sophia


A visit to Istanbul should include a visit to the Grand Bazaar. Watch your wallet, be prepared to negotiate and walk away (even a few times), but DO enter this amazing maze of shopping delight. There are deals to be had and some nice vendors. Patience and knowing your spending budget makes it a more pleasant experience.


 

Lastly, do enjoy some amazing Turkish cuisine. Dark chocolate pistachio baklava and organic thin Turkish Delight were my favorites. Every meal was amazing! Lots of vegetarian options, great soups, breads, and kebabs for the carnivores.










The Perfect Daypack

Daypacks are convenient for hands-free movement and storage. But, the inability to see what's happening behind you can be a safety concern.


I did a lot of research to find a daypack/backpack for the hubby.  It needed to be secure, comfortable, and able to hold raincoats, snacks and the inevitable purchases along the way.

This one met and exceeded all those requirements.

The security feature was tested while in Florence, Italy.
After being bumped while shopping (by a well dressed woman who quickly ran out of the store and disappeared into a huge crowd), we found that she was unsuccessful in unlatching the zipper. All contents were still secure.
Success!


Friday, January 18, 2019

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is one of Europe's beautiful capitals. That's common knowledge, but what I took away from Prague, was a very interesting and important travel lesson.

I was there over a Friday the 13th weekend. Yes, it was as ominous as it sounds.
Unable to book a hotel or Airbnb, I found assistance at the train station tourism office.
The location was geared toward a younger crowd...very modern industrial meets vampire hotel. And, it turned out perfect.

Unfortunately, I got sick. The good news is that it was all manageable. I was able to find a nearby restaurant that served amazing soup. As the weather had turned cooler, I easily picked up a scarf in one of the shops along a main street. The bed at the hotel turned out to be an amazing cocoon of comfort on a rainy Sunday spent indoors recuperating.

A few notes on the City - lots of attractions (Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Astronomical Clock) easily accessible on foot, you do need to watch your pockets (especially over a crowded weekend like mine), and if you miss the below dessert then don't tell me about it. Ever.

 Hotel Room Wall


Hanging with Death on Friday, the 13th

There should be one of these on every street corner.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Slovenia

This small country has so much to offer. Slovenia is very affordable, friendly and easy to get around. Even better, there are no toll roads.

**If driving from Italy or a bordering country, be aware that you will need a vignette (sticker for your car to enter the country). They sell weekly, monthly, etc. vignettes at gas stations prior to reaching the border.**

Ljubljana, the capital is easily seen on foot.  You must try their dumplings! https://www.moji-struklji.si/







The visitor center has loads of useful information. Also, finding people who speak some English is not difficult in Ljubljana.

The Old Town district is charming and picturesque. The Triple and Dragon bridges are not to be missed.


The Central Market (go on Fridays) is close by.
This small capital even comes complete with a castle on a hill. So much to love about Ljubljana!





Lake Bled and Vintgar Gorge are not to be missed! You can find free parking nearby the Lake. The walk through the Gorge is easy for all ages. No hiking or difficult terrain. It does get cool, so if you are visiting in September (my preferred month in Europe), bring a sweater in late afternoons.





Monday, January 14, 2019

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is one of my favorite destinations in Europe. The currency exchange is extremely favorable, the city is rich in history, and you will not find better goulash in the World.

Walk the Chain bridge from Pest over to Buda.  Visit the Buda Castle. Take in the sites along the Danube (You will definitely recognize the Parliment building), and relax in one of the thermal baths, like the SZÉCHENYI.

As with most European tourist destinations, be mindful of pickpockets. Otherwise, we felt very safe while visiting. The people were friendly and helpful. Visit the Central Market Hall and mingle with the locals while getting some great food and soveniers. Don't forget the paprika!
Love, love this city.