Category Archives: #WanderlustWednesday

#WanderlustWednesday: Granada, Spain

My heart is currently set on Europe. I am desperate to go to Spain (amongst several other countries).

Since I was being lazy on New Years Day I decided to catch up on some shows. Both Booze Traveler on the Travel Channel and Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown on CNN had episodes in Spain with the mention of Granada in each one.

Granada is the capital of the province of Granada which lies in the region of Andalusia in Spain. It is at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains and is about an hour away from the Mediterranean coast. The city is the 13th largest urban area in Spain.

The most famous structure in Granada is the Alhambra which is a Moorish citadel and palace. It is the most renowned building of Andalusian Islamic history. There is a heavy Moorish influence in the architecture of the city.

Granada is a city full of History and Culture. From some of the earliest Celtic immigrants to gypsies to the Roman invasion, all have crossed paths in Granda.

Of course, tapas are a way of life in Granada. When hanging out with friends at night, going from bar to bar ordering drinks and sampling some incredible food.

Through it all, my heart longs to wander amongst Spain.

 

 

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#Wanderlust Wednesday: Wellington, New Zealand

Here’s to the last post of 2014…

One of the things that I regret not doing whilst living in Australia was going over to New Zealand. It would’ve been a short plane ride compared to about 16 hours now from LAX. I guess I’ll just be forced to go back, in which I would gladly go in a heartbeat.

This week I’ve started to fall in love with Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington is the capital the nation. It is located on the Southwestern end of the North Island on the Cook Strait which separates the North and South Islands of New Zealand. It is the Southern most capital of the world. Lonely Planet named Wellington as “the coolest little capital in the world”. Food & Wine also listed Wellington as “One of the most romantic cities in the world.”

Wellington is one of the cheapest cities in the world to live in. It was listed as the 12th best quality of living in the world in 2014. With it’s moderate climate throughout the year, being on the ocean and near the forest and mountain regions, Wellington is known for being a very active city. It is a very walkable city with good public transportation.

Not only  are there various outdoor activities, Wellington is also known as the Culture Capital of New Zealand. The city host several different film and art festivals. There is a large theater district and several art galleries. The New Zealand ballet and Symphony orchestra call Wellington home. The city is lined with public sculptures and poetry. Te Papa Tongarewa, the national museum & art gallery is one of the most popular things to do. One of the most famous attractions to Wellington is that it is the heart 7 soul of New Zealand film making. Peter Jackson, the director of The Lord of the Rings and Avatar, calls Wellington home.

Wellington also has a budding coffee, food & cocktail scene. It is the craft beer capital of the nation. The city is internationally known for its beer & coffee. There are about 750 cafes & restaurants, which is more per capita than New York City. It has some of the best restaurants in the nation. There are several food tours that are available to take. The Wairarapa Wine Region is nearby if wineries are more of your taste.

Wellington has a creative feel within its cosmopolitan city. It’s sophisticated like a capital city but has the warmth of a small town’s personality. When I finally get the chance to go back to the South Pacific, Wellington will now definitely be on my itinerary.

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For more on Wellington, wellingtonnz.com.

#WanderlustWednesday: Napa Valley

Being that I am quite a fan of wine…and food…the Napa Valley has been on my list for years. I literally driven from the top to the very bottom of California yet I have never been to Napa.

Of course, the Napa Valley is known for its wineries. It is one of the premier wine regions in the world. Wine production dates back to the 19th century.

With its mediterranean climate, its geography & geology, it has all that it needs to be an incredible environment for producing wine.

Yet there is much more to Napa than just sipping wine all day.

The Napa Valley houses some the the top chefs in the worlds restaurants. When I think of Napa, Thomas Keller comes to mind. Eating at the French Laundry is an absolute dream of mine. I have yet to have the privileged to eat at one of his restaurants but whilst i was living with a family in Australia, they hosted a 12 course meal that was based off of the recipes from the French Laundry. i thought i had died and went to heaven when we had the sea bass over spinach with the saffron vanilla sauce. It may sound a bit odd, but that sauce is life changing. Since that day, i have made it a goal of mine to dine there. Eating in the Napa Valley is am experience of its own.

Although food and wine are what draw most people in, there is much more to the area. If you are more of an outdoor enthusiast there are thousands of acres in which to hike and camp in. You could also go kayaking or white water rafting if you want something a little more adventurous. Driving and bike tours around the area are also quite popular to take in the sights. Of if you’re more of the spa and relax type of fan there are sever natural hot springs and thermal geysers to go soak in around some very luxurious resorts/spas.

I feel like the Napa Valley is one of the closest places that we have here in the States to the actual Mediterranean . Give me some good food & amazing wine in a beautiful location and happy I will be.

 

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For some more ideas on what to do whilst visiting check out: http://www.designsponge.com/2014/04/napa-valley-guide.html

#WanderlustWednesday: Chile

I apologize for missing the last couple of weeks. I finally got the chance to go back home to Vegas for a bit to see my family and friends. I was on vacation mode, therefore I was slacking.

I have not done a post on any country in South America just yet so I thought I would begin with Chile.

Chile is a narrow country between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean on the West. It borders Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. The Easter Islands are also a part of Chile. Chile has extremes when it comes to its geography and landscape. In the Northern region you have one of the driest deserts in the world. In the center region you have more of a mediterranean climate. As you head South you come into more of an Oceanic climate with Alpine tundras and glaciers. There are 7 major climatic subtypes.

Chile is one of the most stable and prosperous nations in  South America. The nation is a multiethnic society which is rich in history and culture. Santiago is the capitol and largest city in Chile. It is a modern city with a strong historic core.

The main attraction in Chile are the places of natural beauty. The extreme zones bring in all types of adventure seekers in the desert to skiing in the Andes to exploring Easter Island to surfing in Pichilemu, which is known as the best surfing spot in South America.

Chile has a little bit of it all.

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For a little more on Chile: http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/a-drive-through-southern-chile?xid=emailsharebar  

#WanderlustWednesday: Bali

It’s been stupid cold here in Nashville the last few days and all I want to do is run to someplace warm and if it has a beach, than even better. You see, I lived in the desert for the last 7 of 8 years. I don’t do cold. I must admit, I am a wimp when it comes to cold weather and I have already begun to whine about the cold (my apologies to anyone who has to put up with it).

Therefore, I would do just about anything to be in Bali right now.

Bali is one of the islands/provinces of Indonesia. Because of all its natural beauty it is regarded and the “Island of the gods”. You have anywhere from sandy beaches, to rugged mountains to rich farmland. You can actually hike around Rinjani which is an active volcano or you can go scuba diving in the coral reefs surrounding the island. And of course, one of the more popular activities, surfing. Bali is one of the top destinations in the world for surfing.

Bali is also renowned for it highly developed arts. There is a diverse art culture with both modern and traditional art/dance. Even their temples are like pieces of artwork. If the arts really aren’t your thing, Bali is also known for being a relaxing destination with multiple luxurious spas and places for meditation and/or yoga.

Its an absolutely beautiful place and with this cold weather right now, I would love to just be able to sit on the beach, smelling the fresh ocean breeze whilst taking in a bit of sun.

Pura Ulun Danu Temple on Lake Bratan, Bali, Indonesia

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For more on Bali, check out: http://a.msn.com/03/en-us/BBekZVA

#WanderlustWednesday: Vienna

Vienna has been on my list to visit but it was not towards the top of the list until recently when I was reading an article that had Vienna as one of the top cities in the world for coffee. The process of filtering coffee is said to have been invented in Vienna in 1683. Even, UNESCO named Vienna’s coffee houses as an invaluable part of the heritage of the city.  As coffee is one of my favorite things in the world, I must go.

Vienna is the capital and the largest city in Austria. It is the 4th largest city in Europe following, London, Paris and Berlin.Vienna has also been named the number one city with the highest quality of living for the last four years in a row.

It has been the capital of several different empires throughout history. It has been, and continues to be a very influential city. It is rich in history, architecture, culture and the arts. You can find anything from classicist to modern architecture. Vienna holds hundreds of art museums and of course has a major part in musical legacy. Names such as Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler and Richard Strauss hail from Vienna or have ties to the city.

It looks like a spectacular place to wander about with a great cup of coffee in your hand…

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For more on Vienna:  http://www.lonelyplanet.com/austria/vienna/travel-tips-and-articles/48-hours-in-vienna

#WanderlustWednesday: Kyoto

I’ve come to realize that most of the places that I have chosen for my #WanderlustWednesday are mainly based around the food of the region which in turn leads me to wanting to explore that particular city/country.

This week is no different.

Kyoto, Japan has recently been added to my list. Kyoto is located in the central part of Japan. It is one of the best preserved cities in the country after WWII. They city was formerly the imperical capital of Japan. it was originally designed with a Chinese Feng Shui design.

Kyoto holds 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is also know as the “City of Ten Thousand Shrines”. Among all of its shrines it also hosts many gardens throughout the city that draw people in from all over the world. I would love to go during the spring time when all the cherry blossoms are in bloom and then again in the autumn to see all the beautiful colors of the trees surrounding Kyoto.

Although I absolutely love gardens and would like to see the old world charm of Kyoto, I really want to go for the food. It is known for its abundance of Japanese food. The regionis famous for what is known as Kyo-ryori, which is a way in which food is cooked with minimal seasoning to bring out flavors & elements of the fresh seasonal ingredients presented in a beautiful manner in which to be able to enjoy the foor not just with the flavor but also with all of your other senses.

You can’t really talk about Kyoto without mentioning the Nishiki Market. It has been around since the 1600’s. Its four blocks with hundreds of shops from Japanese pickle shops to seafood vendors, Japanese pottery and spices shops. I’ve also heard that one must go to Ponto-cho, which is the geisha district of Kyoto which is an alley filled with great restaurants.

 

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Nishiki Market , Kyoto , Japan

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For more on Kyoto, check out http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/04/25/travel/25hours.html