Paris 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife (many with iPhone)

7.13.15 Travelogue: Beirut (but first, Paris)

Travel is not what it used to be. No more steamer trunks and parasols. No more dapper Don Drapers suiting up to fly PanAm. These days it's all hustle and long lines, cramped seats and synthetic blankets. Hordes of massively irritated people feeding cheapie bags of cocktail peanuts to snotty-nosed kids. At least there's no more smoking on planes. Here is one instance when it's best to disregard the journey and focus on the destination.


Traffic out of New York City was so terrifically bad that we missed our flight to Beirut and had to take one to Paris instead. Jetting to The City of Light for a day sounds much more glamorous than it actually is, especially given that the flow at Charles de Gaulle airport is so ill-conceived that it took us more than two hours to funnel out of the main door. Once outside, there were about 200 people—all cranky and bleary-eyed after overnight flights—waiting for taxis. But on the drive into the city, the mood shifted. The beauty of Paris overcomes all.

Tagged — Travel
Peony bud 790 xxx
iPhotos by gluttonforlife

6.5.15 Greece Is the Word (& June Hot Links)

Farewell is such sweet sorrow. I'm leaving on a jet plane, just as the garden kicks into its full glory. While I'm away, the peonies are going to bloom in a burst of pink and white fireworks. The jasmine will waft its sweet fragrance all over the yard and into the open windows of our tiny cottage, but I'll be in Greece. Which will certainly be no small consolation for missing one of the prime moments of the season in our little corner of the Catskills. I've never been to Greece before but my suitcase is packed with all things blue and white in anticipation. Last night, only half joking, I made a Greek salad for dinner. Priming the pump. New sights, new sounds, new tastes, new friends: here I come.

Tagged — Travel
Antigua 790 xxx
photo from the inter webs

2.18.15 Cold Comfort

This past Sunday, the day we were slated to fly out of Newark airport to meet G's extended family in Antigua for our much-anticipated winter getaway, great gusts of snow were billowing across the unplowed roads of our town. Miraculously, our anxious pre-dawn drive gave way to a nearly-on-time departure and a touchdown, a mere four hours later, beside the preternaturally blue waters of this island paradise. The news from home continues to bear glacial tidings, with record-low temperatures predicted, along with more snowfall, into next week. By that time, I'll be back in Sullivan County with only a little sand in my shoes to remind me of balmier climes.

Tagged — Travel
The line 790 xxx
photo courtesy of the line hotel

12.8.14 The Sun, the Moon & Thou

I was born in Los Angeles. In Van Nuys, to be precise, which is in the valley and not very glamorous. Flying towards LAX, you gaze out over the vast urban sprawl punctuated with gawky palms, framed by stately blue hills and filmed with a dull yellow haze and you realize just how unsustainable it all is. Between the fault lines, the fracking, the pollution and the drought, can this desert dream really be long for this world? And yet, once you're on the ground, you are blinded by the sunshine and beguiled by the balmy air and you want it to go on forever. I have a soft spot for the City of Angels, even though it was here that my husband died of cancer and grief invaded my bones. I don't return with the same frequency I once did, but my visits always include sweet reunions with dear friends and family, hikes in the canyons and hills, and as many new food experiences as I can cram in. This time, we started out with a few days at The Line Hotel, a new boutique hotel in Koreatown where we had a room with a view (above).

Before we get into that, though, I'm a bit late announcing the winner of my giveaway copy of Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving. It's Jonathan Epstein! Please email your address to me at I can't wait to send you this wonderful gift.
Tagged — Travel
Statue 790 xxx
photos by george billard

1.16.14 Valley of the Gods

Happy New Year! I have been so wanting to share with you all that we experienced on our trip, but I'm sad to report that I was felled yet again by a horrible illness almost immediately upon our return, some sort of nasty chest infection accompanied by high fever that may even have been the flu. Let me not immediately launch into telling you about the rounds of self-flagellating that went on: Why is my immune system so weak? What is wrong with me? etc. Instead, just let me say that I am now well enough to thrust myself into the new year with the gusto and optimism it deserves. 

During our glorious ten days in Mexico, we journeyed into the complex and mysterious heart of Oaxaca and discovered, with the help of knowledgeable and passionate local guides, amazingly colorful corners we would never have been able to see without this special access. It was such a rich and full vacation that I'll have to break it up into several posts so you can take it all in without feeling overwhelmed. I can't wait to go back and I'm excited to escort you there now.
Tagged — Travel
Venezia 790 xxx

5.2.12 Wanderlust

There's good new and there's bad news. I'll give you the bad first: My blog was horribly hacked and all sorts of things went haywire. The subscriber email alerts stopped working, the site got "blacklisted" and who knows what else. On the upside, magical elves have stepped in and made some changes, so everything should be working well soon if not right now. A new design is forthcoming in the next month or so. AND,  I'm leaving for Venice this evening!! It is, without a doubt, among the most magical places I have ever been. This time, G and I rented a little garden apartment in Dorsoduro for the week and plan to shop at the Rialto market, eat cichetti and stroll aimlessly to our hearts' content. And let's not forget the impetus for the trip: a black-tie birthday bash in honor of a dear friend at this glorious palazzo...
Palazzo loredan 790 xxx
palazzo loredan dell'ambasciatore
Despite our recent Hawaiian idyll, I feel desperately in need of a vacation and am longing for a few carefree days with the freedom to explore and discover, and no pressure from deadlines. I promise plenty of pictures and detailed accounts of all the wonders we encounter. Ciao for now!
Tagged — Travel
Snowdrop 790 xxx
photo by gluttonforlife

3.9.12 Airborne

With the equinox less than two weeks away, spring is in the air, quite literally. It smells of change, a watery freshness that has beckoned the migrating birds, the slumbering bears, the silent buds. The ground was speckled with an ethereal frosting of something this morning—teensy hail? powdery snow?—that's already dissipating as I write this. The first sign of the new season, fragile yet hardy snowdrops, have popped up beneath the river birch. I leave for Hawaii on Sunday. With a couple of posts in the hopper, the blog won't be completely silent this week, but travelogues won't post until my return. This is a vacation, and vacation I will.
Tagged — Travel
Broadway 790 xxx
photo by george billard

12.27.10 The Great White Way

This photo doesn't really begin to capture the insane blizzard swirling through Times Square as we stepped out of the theatre last night. Broadway was virtually deserted except for the rush of people desperately trying to make it home by any means necessary. The silence and the fluffy whiteness were magical but there were also lightning and strong winds. Luckily we made it down the snow-packed subway steps and safely back to the Ace, where we awakened today to a foot of snow out the window. Our White Christmas, just a little late.

Todos santos 790 xxx
sand, rock and sea in Todos Santos
As of tomorrow, I will be on the road, traveling to Todos Santos, Mexico. Four of us are gathering at a rented house on a pineapple plantation in this tiny surf town/artists' colony on the Baja peninsula to celebrate Scott's 50th birthday. I don't surf but I plan to swim, stroll the beaches, eat lots of fresh fish and generally soak up as much relaxation as possible. Not sure what the wireless situation will be, but stay tuned...
Tagged — Travel