Dinner at Bâtard – Tribeca, NYC

Scallops Bâtard

With a Michelin star you might expect Bâtard to be uptight and stuffy but the laid-back and cheerful atmosphere made for a wonderful meal. Th first course was the delicately textured and sweet scallops with kale, vanilla, herbs and potato mousseline.


VW Bulli T1 at Weingalerie und Café NÖ! – Berlin, Germany

Weingalerie Cafe No VW Berlin

If you didn’t know to look for the VW Bulli T1 that sits in front of the impossibly cute Weingalerie und Café NÖ! you might pass it by as the building is covered in vines. It’s a gem of a wine bar serving German and Mediterranean food near Unter Den Linden in the Mitte neighborhood. The VW is available to rent and gaze upon if you are lucky enough to snag a table outside.



Surin Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Surin Beach Phuket Thailand WatermarkWith summer winding down I am revisiting the memory of one of my favorite beaches in the world, Surin Beach on the island of Phuket in Thailand. Surin Beach is a quiet beach town on the west coast of the island, north of Patong. Great for relaxing, swimming and long beach walks. There are many great restaurants there to enjoy and the laid back vibe makes it easy to chat with restaurant owners and workers and hear a bit about their lives.

Spiral Staircase – Cotton House Hotel, Barcelona Spain

Cotton House Hotel Barcelona Staircase 1

The only hotel I took the stairs instead of the elevator every day. It was a joy winding my way around and looking up at the beautiful yellow globes of light that changed with the sun.

The staircase in the Cotton House Hotel is protected by the city of Barcelona as a historical architectural feat. Built in the 1960s it’s the first of its kind –  a hanging spiral staircase suspended by cables.

Superica – Mex-Tex in Atlanta

Superica Sign Atlanta

Staying true to their Texan roots, the chefs at Superica created a Mex-Tex menu in a beautifully designed space housed in the Krog St. Market food hall. This place has everything, bar, dining room, stage for live music, huge patio with a laid-back vibe. Nods to Texas include Shiner Bock logo mirrors, giant Red Stars, stuffed steer above the kitchen punctuated with cow skulls and bright yellow metal hanging fixtures.

The bar has ample seating and a more refined side with a bit less kitsch and a view of the wonderful light streaming through all of the amber-colored liquor bottles that line the full glass wall of windows and to the left, a gorgeous wall of mirrors and paintings that is Anthropologie meets Austin.

The same dedication and time to design is given to the Mex-Tex menu. Noon on vacation means you can drink at lunch – I opted for the Texas Star, it had a refreshing zing from the ruby-red grapefruit and lime and great floral flavors from the hibiscus infused Centenario Rosangel tequila mixed with St. Germain.

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German Breakfast at Ballenberger – Erfurt, Germany

Ballenberger Restaurant, Erfurt, Germany

Ballenberger Restaurant, Erfurt, Germany

Ballenberger is where you want to be for breakfast in Erfurt. Get the Genißerfrühstuck für 2. Delicious, impossibly cute and across the street from a park for great people watching.


Königsstuhl – National Park Jasmund – Rügen, Germany

Jasmund National Park

Jasmund National Park

View from Königsstuhl in the Nationalpark Jasmund a UNESCO site and protected beech forest in Rügen, Germany. Rügen is an island off the north coast of Germany near Sweden.