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Sleek design has its place. But in Honolulu, land of Polynesian charm and turbo charged Pacific vistas, the best perches are often the ones that have been around for decades, updated but maintaining the midcentury glamour of an Elvis film. For decades, The Halekulani has reigned as Grand Dame of Waikiki (Erroll Flynn, Clark Gable, Rosalind Russell were all guests) her hospitality and “tropical modernist” decor delivering a sense of place that blows contemporary corporate-crafted “island...

Traveling with small kids in no picnic. I spoke to U.S. News & World Report about hacks to make airline flights more tolerable. One of my favorite maxims is that, to parents, "spontaneity is the devil." This is especially translates into packing, snacks, entertainment and tantrum busting. Here are the topics discussed: Log on to the full story above for full explanation of tips.     Pack Smart Prepare for Boredom Use Bribery Get The Kids Involved Pick The Right...

I’ve been taking my children to Paris since they were able to appreciate a good crusty baguette (about 5 years old). I have a slew of Parisian friends so we have had the advantage of experiencing the city with locals. Here are some of my favorite things to do 1. During the summer months, the Jardin de Tuileries turns into a kids’ paradise, thanks to an amusement park filled with trampolines, marionette shows and a Ferris wheel...

Nobody has time to get sick. After years of practice, I have tried and true methods to nip a potential cold in the bud.  The trick is to catch the illness before it blooms into a full fledged snot fest. The moment I feel the signs- body ache, sniffle, scratchy throat- I have a variety of potions that I start swigging, spraying and shooting up my nasal passages. 1. Barlean's Olive Leaf Complex Throat Spray Schpritz this broad spectrum...

We decided to go to Sweden by default. In late September, I still had not planned anything for winter break. A swift online search revealed that all of the predictable spots-skiing in Colorado, Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico-had been already booked by parents more conscientious than me. So, I looked at less popular vacation options. Flights to Scandinavia on SAS were reasonable and activities abundant.  Off we went. The first thing that blew me away about Stockholm was the...

A cruise can be an incredible family vacation. The appeal of visiting multiple destinations and unpacking just once is undeniable. But, for many, the mega ship cocktail -endless crowds, bland buffets, forgettable port towns, pools that could double as water parks— is not. That’s why the river boat business is booming, especially in Western Europe. Smaller ships that traverse inland waterways offer access to historic towns, superior cuisine and a setting conducive to bonding with fellow...

Tulum? Maui? Tokyo? This was my hot list a few weeks ago when I blinked and realized that winter break was breathing down my neck. And, I had planned zilch. Within an hour, I discovered that “sure thing” destinations -ski resorts with perma-powder, foolproof beach getaways (Hawaii, Mexico, St Bart’s) and most things international. were off the table. Even with connections, flights were ridiculously expensive. Award seats nonexistent, leaving stragglers like me in the...

Travel is a learning experience. To illuminate this point, I create worksheets for my children to fill out prior to most trips. The sheets entail research--what is special about this place? What are some cultural differences? What type of food is eaten here? What can we expect to see and do in this place? What are five things you want to do at this destination? Then, they present their findings to us. The worksheet project engages kids...

If you are a food lover, you know about Commander's Palace, the home of haute Creole cuisine in New Orleans' Garden District. A new book about Miss Ella Brennan, the 90 year old proprietress and icon of the American Food Movement is out (penned by her daughter Ti Martin) and it's a fascinating read.  The book traces the culinary icon's life from managing her brother’s dive bar on Bourbon Street in the 1940s to helming one of the...

While j’adore Paris, a recent trip there felt triste, the militia -like police presence, endless sirens and parfum of fear sucking the romantic spirit from the city. Plus, I couldn’t shake the anxiety that a terrorist attack was very much in the realm of possibility during my visit. It made me think— The City of Light no longer felt like Europe’s ne plus ultra getaway. Could Amsterdam snatch the reins from Paris? [caption id="attachment_20513" align="alignnone" width="768"]...