Miles of stunning beaches uninterrupted by humans, waves crashing on rocks and into tidal pools filled with little critters, misty mountains and mesmerizing sunsets, saved my sanity during the lock down. California certainly has it’s share of stunningly beautiful destinations! Now that travel has resumed and summer is approaching, let me inspire you to book your vacation or adventure to one of these captivating small towns that move at a deliciously slow pace. Then sip and explore your way through the boutique wine region of San Luis Obispo Coast. Fun Fact… San Luis Obispo County is known as SLO County, suggesting that we should “SLO” down and enjoy the 80 plus miles of stunning beaches, beautiful hotels, delicious farm to table food, and world class wine! (Road trip anyone?) Summer is almost here and it is a beautiful time of year in SLO County. Think barn dance, outdoor movies, free concerts and beach bonfires during sunset. Contact me here to book your summer vacay before everywhere is booked up!
COVID & The Lockdown.
When we went on lockdown in 2020, I could feel the beginnings of a panic attack start in my stomach and with every month that went by, it became more and more pronounced.
If you are thinking about going on safari to Africa, you have several options. This post is about Southern Africa but if you are also considering East Africa, you can take a look at that post HERE and the post with a quick comparison of safari options is located HERE.
Southern Africa, the southernmost region of the African continent, comprises of amongst others, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Each magnificent in its own right and quite different.
Find info about Southern African Safari Experiences HERE.
If you have not been on an African Safari, making the decision where to go is not that easy. There are so many options, each sounding more amazing than the last, which is why working with a safari specialist and/or knowledgeable DMC is important in that process. East and Southern Africa are very different, so I suggest making a list of your priorities. What experience do you want to have? Are you adventurous or do you want to disconnect, go for a few game drives, and lie by the pool? Do you want to have a luxe experience with brick-and-mortar lodges, swimming pools and hot tubs, or track animals on foot and sleep beneath the stars? Maybe both! Who you travel with and the purpose of the trip is of course important as is the size of the group. If traveling with family will there be young kids? Your budget and how much time you have will also be a factor and I do believe that if you are going all the way to Africa, you should spend at least ten days to two weeks to get the full experience. If you and your partner both love Africa and want to get married there, look for my post on weddings in Africa. It will be an unforgettable and mind blowing experience.
There are few experiences as exhilarating and life changing as going on safari to Africa. It is not just a vacation; it is a magical and unforgettable experience. You will take something with you when you leave, and some part of you will stay behind. While interest in Safaris are rapidly increasing in 2022, there is still some hesitancy about being safe “in the wild.” I can assure you, as someone who has spent countless years visiting various spots in Africa; if you follow the suggestions and instructions of a professional guide, you will be totally safe. With regard to COVID-19, each Country has different requirements and thorough planning is imperative, however the lodges are super strict about sanitizing and cleanliness.
I am just going to fall with the door in the house and tell you up front, that unless you are just booking a flight from one city to another in the US, please don’t book any real travel online. Don’t do it! I recently spoke to a few couples who made that mistake, which prompted me to write this blog. Yes, I know some of you have become online travel “experts” and can do it all by yourself, but believe me, if anything goes wrong, as it unfortunately often does, you have to figure out how to fix this it by yourself and often in a Country where you don’t speak the language. I was reading an article in Forbes in which the writer mentioned someone asking her to help with getting their money back from the agency the ticket was purchased through ONLINE, and of course there was no way for her to help. If the person had booked through her, she would have told her to get insurance. There are so many horror stories about travel plans that have gone wrong that I really don’t understand why people still do it to themselves. Not to mention that nowadays, travel is becoming complicated as security to almost all Countries have become really strict and rightly so!
Well it is finally 2020 and I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. As for me, this past year was a very difficult one for my family and I, as my father passed away in September, the same month my mother passed, but several years ago. Two months after he passed away I had my birthday, then came Hanukkah, Christmas, my sister’s birthday and of course, now the New Year. All these “celebrations,” one after the other, were firsts without my father and extremely painful. Waking up in the morning and thinking about wishing him a happy new year and then the realization that I will never get to do that again. Suddenly I am an orphan and the month of September really sucks. When I talk to my sister we cannot talk about memories without breaking down and whereas before it was just mom we missed, now it is both of them and the “remember when” chats are doubly devastating and it has gotten worse during the Holidays.
My father had a long and really good life. My parents were happily married, had their own business and travelled extensively. One of their favorite places was the Kruger National Park in South Africa and needless to say, memories of our family’s many vacations there came flooding back! The 2am wakeup calls to get to the gate of the Park early in time for breakfast and so that we can watch the sun rise in that most incredible of places. We visited the KNP so often that my dad became a honorary game ranger. I don’t know whether they still do that, but years ago it was a big deal. Mom’s ashes are sprinkled there and now dad’s will be too, and I know they are in their “happy place,” and at peace. While I have not been back there for many years, I kept looking at the posts and beautiful pictures in a Facebook group about the Kruger National Park, and remembered all the places they mention, almost as if it was yesterday. Each camp has a special memory… a boyfriend I met, the BBQ or party on my parent’s birthdays or anniversaries… and the peace that is indescribable.
I often get inquiries from my clients to recommend a venue in Israel where they can get married. Many are observant Jews who want to book their wedding close to one of the Jewish Holidays so they can celebrate both during one trip. This requires a venue that is Shabbat “friendly”. Meaning for instance, that there is no key needed to enter the hotel room during Shabbat.
If you recently got engaged and started the very exciting and challenging process of planning your wedding; the most important item on the “to do” list will be to decide where you will have your wedding and honeymoon! There are couples who know exactly what they want and then there are those who have no idea and are feverishly discussing all their options. Will you get married locally or travel? You could have your wedding in Italy and honeymoon in France! So many options and if you follow us, I will be posting about some dreamy and exciting destinations for any occasion.
Several years ago I catered a wedding at a hotel where the Marriott Beverly Hills is now, and not operated by Marriott at the time. I was not impressed by the dark uninviting interior nor the design. It felt gloomy and I never returned there for another event.