travel plans

Boycotting Venice, Hanoi and Centipede Moonshine

I think that's a clickbaity title if I've ever come up with one, no?

I arrived back from Germany this week and think I'm getting the hang of this constantly traveling, wrangling jet lag thing. I was able to get back into my routine fairly quickly. The end of my trip was spent in Berlin, where I reconnected with a good friend from high school who happened to be visiting at the same time. Berlin is a captivating city: naturally counterculture, intensely livable. I wish it were an option for us!

I am currently at Portland International Airport, waiting for my flight back to San Diego. I spent the weekend in the Tualatin Valley, checking out quirky hotels, good coffee, local food and the wonders of Oregon pinot noir. It was a treat being able to taste so much Oregon pinot & riesling, something they're known for, right on the heels of having tasted all this pinot & riesling in Germany, something that country is known for, as well. 

This was another fun week for publishing. I had my very first byline at The Independent, one of the UK's largest digital publications. The city of Venice recently announced they would try to enact charging for entry into Piazza San Marco. Having witnessed similar measures in Barcelona, I think it's a bit ridiculous and doesn't adequately address the crush of tourism. I managed to sufficiently piss off the "Save Venice" internet mob, who seemed not to read the details of my piece--but are you even publishing real opinions if half the internet doesn't come after you for it? Nonetheless, I stand by it and I'm glad I wrote it.

I also had a small contribution to this Thrillist roundup of places you need to visit before you turn 30 (HA!). I wrote about Hanoi, Vietnam, where I lived for a time when I was 21.

I also wrote a short story for Roads & Kingdoms, about the centipede/marijuana/deer horn/overproof rum hooch I sampled while in Grenada a few months ago.

T-2 weeks until Salt & Wind Baja trip liftoff! Tomorrow it's off to Tijuana and Valle de Guadalupe for our final "trip before the trip."

Here are some snaps from my trip to Germany:


Dresden Philharmonic at the just reopened Kulturpalast Dresden

Dresden Philharmonic at the just reopened Kulturpalast Dresden

The Bauhaus-style exterior of the Kulturpalast Dresden

The Bauhaus-style exterior of the Kulturpalast Dresden

Frauenkirche in Dresden

Frauenkirche in Dresden

Schloss-Proschwitz winery in Meissen, Saxony

Schloss-Proschwitz winery in Meissen, Saxony

Ruedesheim, Germany

Ruedesheim, Germany

Assmannshausen, Germany

Assmannshausen, Germany

Lunch at the Meissen porcelain factory (on Meissen porcelain!)

Lunch at the Meissen porcelain factory (on Meissen porcelain!)

Germany, Tijuana, Long Island and mas Baja!

I cannot believe it's practically May--this time last year, I was almost a month out of my finance career, freaking out and hitting the pavement. That hasn't exactly abated, but life is busy and good and I can't believe I'm doing all of this just a year later.

I'm typing this from Dresden, one of my new favorite cities in the world. What a dynamic place--being here and experiencing its energy, it's easy to forget it's only 500,000 people. Prior to this, I spent time in Meissen, where I slept at a winery owned by an actual Prince and Princess; Frankfurt, where I drank a lot of Apple wine and walked the entirety of the city; and Ruedesheim, where I ate an ungodly amount of schnitzel and drank my face off with Riesling. Tomorrow, I head to Berlin and from there I'll fly back to California. This trip was incredible--I was on my own for most of it, which I love, and I enjoyed Germany every bit as much as I expected. Now comes the "fun" part, selling articles! I have two lined up with many more good ideas right behind it.

I had a lot published this past week. At Salt & Wind, I published a guide about what to eat in Baja California. My boss and colleague, Aida, who owns and runs the site, realized that nothing out there gives a comprehensive guide to Baja food. So we decided that I should write it for us. 

At AFAR, my long-awaited story about Long Island wine went live. It focuses on cabernet franc and mentions some of my most favorite wineries. Writing this made me decently homesick and sad that I don't have plans to go back any time soon. Nonetheless, I'm glad Long Island wine is finally quality and getting its time in the sun.

New Worlder published my eat list for San Diego, which has some surprising picks apart from the usual lists that pop up around town (if I do say so myself) and is LatAm heavy, as one should expect from reading the site. It's also basically my and my husband's "where should we eat tonight" go-to list. The photos are beautiful and it came out really nicely, I think.

My cheeky list of things you have to know before visiting Tijuana for the first time went up at Thrillist San Diego. This was a quick and dirty one and I got to fire off a few pot shots at pendejo gringos while mentioning some businesses and people I love supporting.

Getting a head start on monthly San Diego print articles was the lead feature I wrote for Pacific Magazine, which was my first story for them. It was--shock!!!--about Tijuana, specifically where to go, what to do and why. It was chopped up into a couple of sections, but this is the whole series, which is worth checking out.

Tomorrow is off to Berlin, home for a few precious days to actually spend time with my husband who I miss terribly, and then later in the week I'm out again to Washington County, Oregon for a quick two-day trip. Then to Baja for some final trip prep--we're in crunch time at Salt & Wind. Adios!

Grenada, Mezcal in Guatemala and monthly San Diego

Greetings from the magical island of Grenada! I've been here for the past 4/5 days on a whirlwind tour of this misunderstood island nation. I don't want to give too much away here, since the blog is primarily for sharing published work and I intend on saving the good stuff for forthcoming articles, but this place is wonderful. Grenada is less touristed than other Caribbean islands but just as beautiful--essentially, a winning combination. More to come.

I've been working like a madwoman but things have been slow to publish, and I'm pretty sure I have a whole lot of yet-to-be-published work out in the world that will surface without me remembering I even wrote it. Which is exciting! This short piece at Roads & Kingdoms went live--it's about my recent trip to Guatemala with the folks at Ilegal Mezcal. The brand owner also owns a bar, called Cafe No Se, and I think it might be the greatest bar in the world. And definitely one of the shadiest, but that often goes hand-in-hand. 

On the print front, it's time for the monthly magazine release and deluge. My Ranch & Coast column talks about botanical cocktails you can find around San Diego. I have a very short part of San Diego Magazine's Best of North County issue, where I plug my favorite Spanish restaurant in the United States, Cesar in Rancho Santa Fe. In Modern Luxury San Diego's April issue, I wrote the Eat Sheet, which talks about the new incarnations of local favorites: the new Buona Forchetta in Liberty Station, the new Streetcar Merchants in La Jolla and Herb and Wood's casual eatery, which recently opened in Little Italy. Called Herb & Eatery, it's my designated "on the way to Mexico" stop for their awesome vanilla-mint latte and its location right off the freeway. I also wrote about the opening of Hive, a new eating and drinking adult arcade on Convoy. 

Lots of good things on the horizon, including the launch of our Salt & Wind trips in late May and trips to Baja, Napa, Seattle, San Francisco, Germany and Oregon's Tualatin Valley. Almost all of it is work-related, so keep an eye out for corresponding articles.


Recently published, week of 1/12/17

I was so proud to get this piece at New Worlder out into the world. It's about the rise of fine dining in Oaxaca, which is one of my absolute favorite places in Mexico and, by far, one of the best places to eat on the planet. I am really happy with how it came out and loved writing (and researching) this story.

Over at Luxury Living, I listed the best places to travel in the tropical Americas for 2017. I was able to highlight Grenada, an island I'm really excited to visit this coming March. 

I also listed Grand Cayman as another hotspot, bolstered even more by this article I did about a stunning new home on Grand Cayman designed by Miami-based interior designer Bea Pila. Talk about home envy.

On the travel front, I lined up another trip, this time to Guatemala, which will come at the end of February. I finalized my Tucson, Arizona plans for the week of March 9th. I'm currently in Newport Beach, CA for the Newport Beach Restaurant Week preview, which is exciting despite the gloomy rain in southern California. On Tuesday, I head to Las Vegas to interview famed chef Joel Robuchon, which I couldn't be more excited for. 

Recently published and travel plans, week of 1/6/2017

I began my stint at Luxury Living International with a detail of the W Fort Lauderdale's $55 million renovation.

Back on the home island, my piece about why Long Islanders miss Long Island summer went live. Being in San Diego, I can't say January really ever makes me long for summer, but it's been raining here for two straight weeks. A true anomaly. So, I'm feeling it. 

San Diego Magazine's January issue and Modern Luxury's January/February issue are both on stands. I have articles in both - check it out!

On the 2017 travel calendar front: I have a weeklong trip to Germany booked for April, which I'm crazily excited about. I'll be visiting wine regions and the East German cities of Leipzig and Dresden and am looking forward to seeing what will come out of it. I'm also finalizing a trip to Grenada, which should come not long after a trip with friends to Cabo San Lucas and Todos Santos in March. I'm in the process of developing a self-designed writing retreat to Tucson, Arizona in February where I'll be mentored by a travel writer I've long admired. Looking forward to an exciting year!