A fusion of food, travel and photography.

Posts tagged “love

The Perfect Ending to the Perfect Trip


Twenty Years in Paris – Part V

Call me a softie, a romantic at heart, or perhaps at the point in my life when I have crested the hill and begun what I hope to be a very elegant and gradual descent down the other side. Don’t get me wrong, I still love scuba diving, James Bond movies and the occasional leap off the top of a 2,000 foot tall mountain with nothing but a hang glider silently soaring over the beaches of Rio de Janiero. But sometime after my 40th birthday I noticed my priorities were shifting.

The Arc de Triomphe at twilight.

The Arc de Triomphe at twilight.

The obsession for the latest clothes, cars  and cache has given way to experiencing life to the fullest every day. Life’s lessons learned have been punctuated by just how short life actually is. (more…)

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Love Is In The Air – Or Locked To A Bridge!


Twenty Years in Paris – Part IV

Let’s face it. If you have been to Paris and liked it enough to return for another visit, you undoubtedly know the two biggest draws to the city. The visual eye candy comprised of amazing monuments, spectacular churches, ancient architecture, gardens, fountains, the River Seine and the cobblestone streets is reason enough for repeat visits to the crown jewel of Europe. The other reason is, of course, the food!

A sumptuous Raspberry Macaroon Tart from Eric Kayser, Paris.

A sumptuous Raspberry Macaroon Tart from Eric Kayser, Paris.

Clearly, the French can sculpt a statue, paint a canvas and design world class buildings. They can also create the most amazing, mouth-watering food I have ever seen anywhere. (more…)


A Perfect Evening in Paris


Twenty Years in Paris – Part III

We arrived in Paris at the Gare du Norde train station and took a taxi to the Marriott Champs-Elysees where we discovered our room was not yet ready even though it was 4:00 p.m. and check-in was at 3:00. We asked if another room was available and after a few minutes of feverishly pounding his computer’s keyboard and making phone calls, the front desk clerk was able to change our room so we could unpack and get ready for dinner. Knowing that we were celebrating our 20th anniversary, the hotel manager kindly sent a celebratory cheese plate and bottle of white wine for our enjoyment. Abandoning all dietary common sense during our trip, we dove right in.

The manager of the Marriott Champs-Elysees sent us a cheese plate with a bottle of white wine for our anniversary.

The manager sent us a cheese plate and a bottle of white wine for our anniversary.

After such an elaborate appetizer, we had to think twice about heading out for dinner. Well, not really! We knew what was in store for us and finished dressing for dinner. This night’s destination was a small, left bank restaurant serving classic Parisian dishes. (more…)


ATM Cards in Amsterdam


Twenty Years in Paris – Part II

Amsterdam is as charming and picturesque in September as it is in spring or summer. The canals and narrow houses lining them glow beautifully in the Autumn sun or after the evening lights appear, which happens as early as 5:00 p.m. in the fall season.  Regardless of the time of year Amsterdam never fails to provide its visitors with plenty of eye candy and a magical experience not soon forgotten.

A picturesque canal in Amsterdam.

This year we chose the Renaissance Hotel near Central Station due to its location and room availability for payment with Marriott Rewards points. The nicest hotel in the city is (more…)


The Smithsonian Institution’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center


Twenty Years of Paris – Part I

Working the system using a combined 55+ years of travel experience, the best option for free Business Class seats on our 20th anniversary trip to Europe for the dates we needed turned out to be via Washington, D.C. So our trip began with a flight from Atlanta to D.C. where we would make our connection to Amsterdam on a KLM flight.

Taking full advantage of our passionate belief that the journey IS the trip, we booked a morning flight to DC so we could enjoy the day in our nation’s capital. (more…)


An Oasis in the Desert – Discovering Amangiri


Miriam Webster defines an oasis as a “fertile or green area in an arid region (as a desert); something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast.” Pleasant contrast is how I would describe the design and architecture of a new addition to the ultra luxury hotel chain Aman. Small, secluded and designed for personal pampering, Aman Resorts delight discriminating travelers who are looking to escape.

Entrance Hall at Amangiri

Having experienced their flagship property, Amanpuri in Phuket, Thailand a few years ago, I knew the resort in the middle of the Utah desert would indeed be an oasis. That is, if we could find the hotel. (more…)


Remember Love?


Do you remember your first love? How about your second? Remember how you would lie in bed thinking about what exciting adventure tomorrow would bring? How you couldn’t wait to see that person again. It didn’t even matter how you spent your time with each other. It was the chemistry and the magical feeling you had, just being with that special someone.

Lanterns in Hoi An, Vietnam

Love doesn’t apply only to people. Most people love their pets. Some people love to sing. Others love (more…)


You Can’t Go Home Again


I returned to my hometown of Toledo, Ohio, to attend my Dad’s funeral this week and was saddened not only by the event, but also by the fact that my hometown has become a picture of an aging, depressed and rusting Midwestern city. There has been very little growth, very few new buildings and tons of old buildings that are now abandoned.
 

Downtown Toledo's rverfront

An attempt has been made to breathe new life into the downtown area with the construction of a new baseball stadium, convention center, and a new bridge across the Maumee River. I was, however, able to seek some solace in the food. (more…)


5 Days in Paris: Sharing


Sharing Paris

Of all the holidays, Christmas has always been my favorite, mostly because of the gift of giving. Sure I love to receive gifts, but the truly rewarding part of exchanging gifts is giving to others. There is nothing more satisfying then seeing the joy a gift has brought to the person I have given it to.

Luxembourg Gardens

I am so fortunate to experience the same sense of satisfaction and sharing when I introduce someone to one of my favorite places. Since I adore Paris, (more…)


5 Days in Paris: Love Locks


It took me nearly 20 trips to Paris to venture off the beaten tourist path and explore other photo opportunities the city has to offer. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t previously discovered this bridge, but crossing the Seine from Ile Saint-Louis to Rive Gauche, I found something I have never before seen. The entire fencing along the bridge was covered in padlocks and colorful streamers. Upon closer inspection, most of the padlocks had names, initials or other writing on them.

Like the colorful pairs of lace-tied sneakers thrown over power lines in some cities, these locks formed a latticework of color and texture spanning (more…)