I am a lover of Zion.
I’m back in Israel, admiring these brave, awesome soldiers. I visited various military camps yesterday and I am so moved by the dedication and love that these soldiers have for their country. Israelis are the coolest and most self-assured people out there. Period.
This is the path to my room at Azzaden Trekking Lodge in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, an ecolodge that overlooks the snow-capped peaks of the Toubkal Massif mountain range. I like that you can see the brown branches just beginning to sprout white flowers.
I will admit that the roosters woke me up earlier than anticipated and that my sleep was interrupted numerous times by the sounds of the outdoors. But…rustic luxury? Solar powered, heated bathroom floors? “Solitude in a dramatic location?”…yes please.
Share cocktails and a little tête-à-tête at The Milestone. Located across from Kensington Palace, The Milestone – one of London’s finest boutique hotels – is a proper, plush little gem with the best high tea in the city.
The movie adaptation of The Great Gatsby is coming out this spring, and The Milestone is embracing the spirit of the times. The Milestone’s old-timey Stables Bar and their all-glass cocktail room, The Conservatory, are introducing Gatsby-esque drinks and snacks to their ‘Roaring 20′s Menu’ to add a little zest to their historic, elegant and super glamorous atmosphere.
‘The Daisy’ – A simple brown spirit-and-ginger ale highball was a common order during the 1920’s. The Milestone Hotel recommends mixing your favorite bourbon with a ginger beer. Created for drinkers to capture their inner independent spirit, just like Daisy Buchanan.
‘The Gatsby’ – Using gin and vermouth, this Martini is impeccably styled. Add a dash of maraschino liqueur, bitters, and dose of absinthe, and you have yourself The Milestone Hotel’s version of ‘The Tuxedo.’
Guests can also try the ‘Flappers Platter,’ a dish that showcases a few unusual 1920’s favorites: Crab Stuffed Mushrooms with Parmesan, Waldorf Salad, Rinktum Diddy (this dish includes onion, tomato and cheese with paprika, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce are all mixed together with two beaten eggs and cooked on low heat.)
Or, high tea.
Also at The Milestone:
“A selection of speakeasy events will also be unveiled by The Milestone Hotel to further celebrate the styles and flavors of the 1920’s including a dinner with leading Fashion Editor Hilary Alexander on June 27th on fashions of the 20’s and their comeback. On July 4th, The Cocktail Lovers will host a cocktail tasting and master class on 1920’s cocktails at a reception at the hotel.”
The Milestone is my favorite hotel in London – if you travel there, you absolutely cannot miss their afternoon tea. Promise?
After spending a few weeks in Israel, Tel Aviv quickly became my favorite international city.
Israel’s 65th birthday is coming up on May 14th! May is one of the best months of the year to travel there – not too hot, mainly dry, and super sunny. You can cover the whole country in only a couple of weeks. From beautiful blue Mediterranean beaches to snow-capped mountains, or rocky desert to bustling cities, Israel is truly a dynamic destination. It really is a special place.
Here’s a link to my recent Forbes article about Tel Aviv, the greatest party city in the world (if you can think of a better place to party, tell me where!). Click me.
I met these kids a few days ago in a small village in South Africa. They totally freaked out when I showed them the iPhone reverse camera. :)
Motswari Private Game Reserve: “In the evenings the outdoor life is the order of the day, with cold gin and tonics, meat sizzling over hot coals and hyenas calling in the distance.” Wow.
I leave for South Africa in a few days, and I’m gunning to see the ‘Big Five.’
The term ‘big five’ was coined by big-game hunters in Africa who determined through experience (yikes) that these five animals were the most difficult to track down while on safari – and the most dangerous.
The big five: leopard, rhinoceros, lion, African elephant and the Cape buffalo.
I’m pretty excited about the awesome eco-luxe lodging at the Motswari Private Game Reserve. It looks gorgeous and a bit rustic, with thatched roofs and outdoor showers. (By the way, showering outdoors is one of the most exhilarating experiences you could ever ask for, so if you haven’t tried it yet, put it on the list).
American Lit is American inspiration.
American Lit was my favorite class in college. It was the first time I actually connected to course material, and the various books we read really stayed with me over the years. I couldn’t believe how much wisdom was contained within each essay, line after line.
Emerson’s The Poet or Thoreau’s Walden will seem familiar to you upon reading, regardless of whether or not you’ve read their works in the past. Almost every astoundingly beautiful and poetic sentence is a famous quote you’ve likely heard many times throughout your life.
Walden is my favorite book. Because of my fascination with Thoreau’s literary talent and with other authors from 19th century Concord – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott and Nathaniel Hawthorne, to name a few – I always wanted to visit the area. I finally took the trip last summer, when I realized that Concord was the exact mid-way point from Long Island to Boothbay, Maine, where I was attending my cousin’s wedding. It was meant to be. Of all the trips I took last year – 18 countries total – the time I spent in Concord was my favorite and most meaningful experience.
Thoreau wrote Walden while living in a cabin for two years at Walden Pond. Seeing the pond was a pilgrimage for me, and though it has been months since my trip I still think about Concord all the time. Coincidentally, Annie Leibovitz’s exhibit ‘Pilgrimage’ was on display at the Concord Museum at the time…such a treat!
Traveling alone is the best. I love being on my own time. I don’t think I missed seeing a single site in that town.
Click here to read my Concord article @Forbes.com.
Walking along the Walden Pond path.
A dreamy time of day in summer.
And, a Thoreau quote: