48 Hours in Louisville – City Guide to Sites, Dining, Shopping and More

Welcome To Kentucky

Louisville is a five-hour drive from Chicago but a world away, full of Bourbon, Kentucky Fried Chicken, horses and changing neighborhoods. Here are must-do activities to experience some of the best food, drink, shopping and sites of Louisville in a short amount of time.

Day 1 – Morning: From the Marriott Louisville Downtown head to Market Street to get to NuLu, also known as East Market District. This neighborhood is rapidly changing, a.k.a getting hipsterfied, and is a mix of industrial companies, restaurants, shops and galleries.  My prediction: in five years it will be over-saturated with shops and chains, however, now it has a great vibe with interesting art and people.

Grab a coffee and pastry at Please & Thank You. Sit outside to people watch or stay inside and pick out some vinyl from the record store in the back. Then Continue reading


Hot Fried Chicken – Louisville, Kentucky

Hot Fried Chicken Proof on Main Louisville

Hot Fried Chicken from Proof on Main Louisville. Crispy chicken with hot peppers served on white bread with corn relish and worth every calorie. Stay tuned for the roundup of great tastes of Louisville coming next week!


Peach Shake-Up – Locally Grown Gardens, Indianapolis

Peach Shake-Up Locally Grown Gardens Indianapolis

On my way back from Louisville we stopped in Indianapolis for lunch at Locally Grown Gardens, a local produce market and restaurant. We enjoyed the sun at our picnic table and a deliciously sweet Peach Shake-Up – homemade lemonade with chunks of freshly picked peaches and peach purée served in a 3-cup Mason jar.

The Dish to Get at Pasteur – Edgewater, Chicago

Pasteur Chicago Dining Room

Pasteur is beautiful and airy with high ceilings, white table clothes, rattan chairs, dark chocolate leather banquette, gold celestial-ringed chandeliers and serves traditional Vietnamese.

Here’s what you are getting at Pasteur – the Bo Luc Lac, Pasteur’s signature beef steak and commonly known as Shaking Beef. The beef is Continue reading

Must-Stay Hotel: Cotton House in Barcelona, Spain

The unassuming entrance gives no hint to the gorgeous history meets modern design behind the giant carved wood doors in the Cotton House, a luxury 83 room boutique hotel in the heart of Barcelona. Built in 1879 for a Spanish family before being sold to the Cotton Textile Foundation, the first two floors retain their original design and are full of color and ornate detail. From the giant wall of framed mirrors that meets the marble floor of the reception, the calming effect of dining among the dozens of cotton bolts in different white hues in the Batuar restaurant to the rooftop pool and my personal favorite, the suspended spiral staircase – the Cotton House is one of the most beautiful and visually interesting hotels in Barcelona.

I arrived at 9:30am with no expectation of checking in but simply to store my luggage while I spent the day touring. However, between being offered bites of the chocolate-covered strawberries, the staff apologized for not having the room ready and offered to upgrade the room.

There are eight room grades and I ended up getting upgraded twice to the Cotton Room level complete with a balcony facing the terrace, king-size bed and huge walk-in shower and full bathtub. In contrast to the colorful opulence of the public areas the hotel room is elegantly simple with warm white tones covering the room, soft white leather chairs and headboard, impossibly soft bedding and backlit drawings of cotton that line the wall giving the room a warm feel.

You can sneak a peek here:

Continue reading


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.