Hello fellow travelers, how I’ve missed writing for you! I hope the new year is treating you well.
The last few weeks of 2022 were … intense, to say the least, but there is so much to look forward to this year — from traveling to new destinations and exploring the world, seeing loved ones start new adventures, wedding planning and much more. And you, of course, will come along with me through all of it.
Life works unexpectedly, and once we can accept that, we free ourselves from the never-ending to-do lists and goals after goals after goals … you get my drift. Now, where did I leave off last? That’s right, headed to Los Angeles for a quick work trip. I stayed at the gorgeous The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles, which made the hustle the trip required worth it. My room felt enormous and the direct view of the Hollywood sign made me feel like a movie star, ha! In between meetings and hosting an event, the team had a lovely dinner at Capital Grille where they helped kick off my big birthday celebrations.
I turned 30 later that week and continued the celebration at home with my loved ones. The night of my birthday, my fiancé, his sister and I attended George Balanchine’s opening night of The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music, a National Historic Landmark. It was my first time at the ballet, and I can say I’m still amazed.
The theatrical magic of the holiday season coupled with the remarkable talent, innocence and charm of the artists and performers made for memorable night, indeed. It was an almost-sold-out opening night, and the building was filled with giggles, laughter and palpable enjoyment. I must say my inner child was thrilled to experience this; there’s no such thing as being too old to nurture that little person inside all of us.
After the show, we opted to walk to our dinner reservation at Giuseppe & Sons on Sansom Street. At first I was confused, as it seemed we walked into a closed business; what describes speakeasy vibes better than that? The intrigue increased as we made our way down the stairs and through the picturesque hallway that leads into the bar. I loved everything about this place, from the dim lighting, modern yet retro architecture and style, and the food — can’t forget about the food.
I enjoyed a well-balanced espresso martini as we waited for two other friends to join us; a quick Google search indicated the Broccoli Rabe “Pizza” was the crowd-pleaser appetizer, so, naturally, we decided to find out. I can attest its pillow-y soft and cheesy center and crispy-yet-soft crust will make you close your eyes and “Mmm…mmm…mmm.” I don’t know how else to describe it, haha.
Unfortunately, they were out of the Lobster Spaghetti, the dish I really wanted to try, but the Shrimp Fra Diavolo and the Rigatoni Pomodoro did not disappoint. The shrimp was smothered in a decadent lemon butter sauce, and somehow it managed to keep its crispiness despite being steaming hot inside when it was served. The pasta tasted super fresh and light; the sauce had a sort of sweetness that balanced out all the citrus and acidity from the shrimp.
As if that night wasn’t enough, the next day I picked up my mom and brother from the train station and we headed back to the city to do yet another thing for the first time. I’m telling you, there isn’t an age limit to this thing called happiness.
My mom, brother and I went ice skating for the first time, and we loved it! We went to the Independence Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest and spent an evening skating, falling, laughing and enjoying each other. We sat by the fire and had some hot cocoa before we headed to Center City to continue exploring. Luckily, Winterfest is open through March 5, so there’s time to engage in some outdoor family winter activities.
In our attempt to spend more time in Philly, we searched for and found our new favorite date night spot. Be on the lookout for my next blog to find out where in the city this place is.
— Yasser Ogando, advertising & production manager
There may not be snow in Los Angeles this season, but Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is certainly full of the holiday spirit, with Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s events happening in the hotel’s gorgeous event spaces.
From the moment you step onboard Air Tahiti Nui’s Tahitian Dreamliner, you will be transported to The Islands of Tahiti. The French Polynesian carrier considered every detail to awaken its passengers’ senses, creating the feeling you are already on the Islands while 30,000 feet in the air.
Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.
Everyone loves a good Christmas tree, but these iconic hotels around the world take it one step further with designer-styled trees illuminating lobbies and public spaces, wowing all who enter. From Lela Rose to Louis Vuitton, don’t miss these ultra-luxury trees redefining tree decorating as we know it.
In addition to intimate settings, smaller staff-to-passenger ratios, and personalized food and beverage options, river cruises have the advantage of providing a deeper dive into a region’s culture, food and history. The Rhine, Rhône and Danube in Europe and the Mississippi River and St. Lawrence in North America have much to offer travelers with their itineraries, tying together beloved cities and lesser-known destinations along their routes.
Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.
With the holidays right around the corner, travelers are preparing for holiday travels. For those looking for a last-minute getaway filled with holiday cheer, consider Croatia. With a variety of winter activities perfect for travelers and locals alike, the Christmas countdown in Croatia is in full swing. Leading up to Christmas, Advent in Croatia makes it even more worth your while to visit the country with free winter incentives. If you plan on visiting Croatia, here are five cities going all out for the holiday season: