Jack-O-Lanterns and Goblins Galore!

pumpkin tunnel

This year I decided to check out something different for Halloween Weekend…and I am sure glad that I did!  I attended an AMAZING event called ‘The Great Pumpkin Blaze’!  As you can clearly see from the photos this was no small event…it was, in fact, nothing short of stunning.  I cannot even begin to imagine how many pumpkins were actually used in the blaze (which took at least 45 minutes to stroll through); however, it had to be in the tens-of-thousands!  Also amazing to me (and many of my fellow pumpkin viewers) was the fact that most of the pumpkins were lit by actual burning candles!  It must have taken half of the day just to light them all!  Every picture that you will see in this post is made up of the most beautifully carved pumpkins…check it out!
Continue reading

Sweet Treats in NYC!


If you happen to find yourself in New York City do not miss out on the gelato which is served up at Eataly.  Located at Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, Eataly is in the heart of the Flatiron District.  Over the past few years, I have eaten in several of Eataly’s restaurants.  Personally I remain the most impressed by their Gelateria; they serve up some of the best gelato that you will find stateside!  Their gelato is freshly prepared everyday and is made with local milk.
Continue reading

Looking for Something Different? Try a Cooking Class!


Looking for something fun and new to try?  I would recommend trying out a cooking class at Sur La Table!  I did it for the first time this past weekend and it was both fun and informative.  With more than 50 locations in 22 states, Sur La Table is more than just an inspirational store for cooks…it is also a place to learn new recipes and skills through the wide array of cooking classes offered (they even offer summer camps)!  Current class offerings are as varied as: Mediterranean Dinner Party, Summer Macarons, Delicious Thai Cooking and Date Night: Summer in Provence; there really is an offering for everyone!  The classes, which are led by a professional chef, typically last for approximately 2 hours and cost less than $100 per person.
Continue reading

How To Do a Destination Spa on a Day Spa Budget!



Mohonk Mountain House

One lesson which I have learned in my years is that you should not wait around for someone else to take care of you…you need to take care of yourself!  Following this mantra, I recently decided to treat myself in honor of my birthday (I am officially 36 now).  I wanted to treat myself to a day at a fabulous spa…a destination spa seemed to fit the bill; however, I wasn’t prepared to lay down the thousands of dollars normally associated with a trip to a destination spa.  Therefore I decided to explore ways in which I could do a destination spa on a day spa budget.  In the end, I chose to visit the spa at Mohonk Mountain House.  Located just 90 miles north of NYC, this spa is a lovely retreat from the hustle and bustle.  Sorry no photos may be taken inside of the spa itself, but I got some lovely pictures of the grounds!  Here are some tips for visiting a destination spa near you while keeping to a day spa budget:
Continue reading


Arguably one of the most unusual and enchanting cities in the world, Venice is a jewel.  The city is a veritable maze of canals, foot bridges and ancient passageways.  Pictured above is a snapshot I took of a passing gondola (crazy, right?).  Venice is filled with beautiful things to see and piazzas to explore.  While there, I would absolutely recommend taking a water taxi out to the island of Murano where you can see the famous Murano Venetian glass being blown; my friend and I both felt that seeing this greatly enhanced our appreciation for the glass pieces which are sold all over the city.
Continue reading

Under the Tuscan Sun


Should you find yourself in Florence, Italy, I highly recommend taking a day (or two, or three) to tour the surrounding hill towns of the Tuscan countryside.  You will see some of the most picturesque scenery and you will have an opportunity to glimpse into the past.  It is easy to take a bus from Florence out to the countryside.
Continue reading

Down on the Bayou

If you should ever travel to New Orleans, which I highly recommend, be sure to take a swamp tour; it is truly an experience!  Having been to New Orleans several times now, I have taken more than one trip down to Louisiana’s swamps.  My first swamp tour was taken in an outboard motor boat which travelled through the swamp at a leisurely pace.  It was fun and I learned a lot about the wildlife indigenous to the area.  This past visit, I opted to take a tour with Airboat Adventures…a company that owns over 20,000 acres of swamp land and gives you up-close and personal experiences with some of the swamp’s most famous residents…the alligators!  I took this picture above of an alligator which was probably about 5 feet away from me (I just love the seaweed on his snout)!  This tour was a ton of fun and I really enjoyed it!  The highlight for me came later when I actually held an alligator…
Continue reading