Bratislava is cheeky, cheerful, and super serious about all things ice cream.
What is it that makes a town feel alive - or like it's dying? There are just some cities, some towns, even some streets that feel so inextricably alive, vibrant, thriving, pulsing with energy and growth. And then there are their counterparts, places that may be filled with shops and people, places that have amazing restaurants and vistas and views, but the energy is different, stagnant, gone.
This hard to describe, impossible to capture alive-ness is what I covet when I travel. I LOVE it when I discover a place that is decidedly ALIVE. Of course, I want to see the beauty and possibility in every location I visit and I always go in with a neutral set of expectations but there's nothing like the thrill of a destination that unexpectedly just blows you away. And that was Bratislava. I have never experienced a city more alive, more pulsating, filled with more joie de vivre than Bratislava.
Update: This business is now closed. If anyone has information on a possible reopening or relocation, please let me know. I wish Mike all the very best and I hope readers still enjoy this post and having the chance to read about a Kona legend.
When you think about Hawaiian food, what comes to mind? Chances are, you envision beautiful fresh fish, flavorful tropical fruits, and maybe evenexquisite coffee - three of my favourite things! Hawaiian food is all of those things and much more; hand pounded poi, savory roasted breadfruit, and gooey, sugary malasadas are also on my list of Hawaiian loves. But when I'm on Hawaii's Big Island, it's a prosaic pretzel I'm after - and only one place will do.
Flying with Turkish Airlines has opened our eyes to a different style of travel.
Lemonade, mint soda, or fruit punch? Step inside the most colorful, coziest, loveliest way we've ever gone from point A to point B! Traveling from Montreal to Istanbul with Turkish Airlines business class was an unforgettable experience and a wonderful lesson in travel elegance. We will never look at travel the same way again!
This trip marked the one and only time we've ever flown in business class (well, okay, there was that time Ryan managed to weasel his way to first class while on route to Las Vegas but that's a sore point). And, just like you'd imagine, it was absolutely divine! But it comes as no surprise that flying in business class is "nice." We wanted to bring you behind the scenes to see just what our experience was like so you can decide for yourself if the upgrade from economy to business is a smart move for you.
I'm a picky packer but these items have earned a place in my pack.
My idea of a rocking Friday night? Why, I'm in my room, all my travel gear spread out, and I'm playing "kit". Whether or not I have an actual trip coming up is irrelevant! And, as many of you know, I love checking out new travel items. Cute, interesting, and small sized products often catch my eye, but they seldom win my heart. For as much as I love messing around with all my travel products, the truth is that very few items win over my heart and earn a permanent place in my pack.
Maybe my years of travel have made me a very discerning consumer - or maybe I'm just getting old and don't want to be bothered hauling around gear that's not 100% up to par. Either way, lately I've been more likely to delete items from my packing list, not add to it. But these following items were the exception. They survived the purge and fought their way to the top of the list to secure a place in the pack.
Where should you have lunch in Montreal? Finally, I have some answers!
For a travel writer, I sometimes do a poor job of coming up with personal recommendations. I remember once describing my favourite cafe in a particular city - only to realize I was talking about a Starbucks. Oops!
And other times, I felt I knew a city well only to draw a blank when asked for restaurant recommendations. I found myself confronted with this very situation when a friend asked for advice on where to eat lunch in Montreal. I know Montreal! Or, at least I thought I did. Haven't I written more about Montreal than any other city on the blog? Then why was I struggling with my answer?
I eventually cobbled together a response for my friend but I wasn't entirely satisfied. I've been determined ever since to come up with a killer list of my favourite lunch spots in Montreal and they're all around $12 - or much less. So go ahead, ask me for a recommendation. I've got this!
We found real value in one of the toniest spots in the United States.
Cape Cod is a tiny spit off Massachusetts, just an hour from Boston, where everything seems endless and open and large. There are massive beaches, gorgeous mansions, endless expanses of blue sky. And the friendliness is larger than life too!
I met my new friend Kelly, a former Cape Cod resident, at a cooking class in Prague. We bonded over a mutual appreciation of all things dumplings and goulash and she gave me invaluable advice for exploring Cape Cod. Thanks to her sage insider's perspective we had an unforgettable trip - plus a long list of activities to consider for next time.
In the spirit of travel friendships, I feel it's only appropriate to pass along our favourite (affordable) Cape Cod recommendations - and I can't wait to hear if you have any to add to the list!
Stockholm's Nobel Museum is surprisingly small - and delicious.
Alfred Nobel was a curious man. The man who invented dynamite maintained a friendship with peace activist (and future Nobel laureate) Bertha Von Suttner - but his belief in pacifism did not impede his businesses from owning some 90 arms factories. Unexpected harsh words in a premature obituary, in which Nobel was mistaken for his deceased brother, prompted him to write one of the most remarkable wills in history.
Nobel left instructions for his estate to establish and fund the Nobel Prizes. The results of this curious man's curious will has been capturing imaginations for over a century, which makes Stockholm's Nobel Museum a fantastic travel destination. And if you have only a brief time to spend in the city like we did, it makes for the perfect short stop. Here's what we enjoyed most about our visit.
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