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I met the most amazing craftspeople when I was in Portland last week. Read my USA Today piece, 10 Portland makers who will make you say, “Please take my money!” and get all your holiday shopping done early!

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making an impact on a fathom cruise

Posted on April 28, 2016

Fathom Travel recycling

Thanks to Fathom for partnering with me on this sponsored post. All
opinions are, as always, 100% mine.

Fathom’s 704-passenger vessel, the Adonia returned from its inaugural voyage to the Dominican Republic last Sunday and, according to my friends who were on the trip, it was an amazing experience. I’ve been following along closely because I’m hoping to go in June.

Fathom is Carnival Corporation’s latest brand and what makes it so special is that it’s dedicated to social impact travel. Voluntourism is one of the fastest-growing trends right now, and it’s one in which I’m especially interested. In fact, I recently wrote a piece for USA Today’s 10Best about it and, of course, included Fathom. more »

april is pixie tangerine month at the oaks at ojai!

Posted on April 21, 2016

Oaks at Ojai Pixie Tangerine Month

Not that you need another reason to visit the iconic Oaks at Ojai but April is Pixie Tangerine Month and that just sweetens the deal.

So, when I was invited to spend a couple of days at the spa, I booked myself a ticket on Amtrak and headed north. more »

travel in style!

Posted on March 30, 2016

Savvy Traveler

As you’ve noticed, I’ve discovered a lot of great travel gadgets — and more great travel gadgets — lately.

Today, I want to share some fantastic new finds to get you where you’re going in style and comfort. I have personally used all of them on recent trips — and I am kind of high maintenance when it comes to traveling 🙂 more »

8 travel gadgets to take anywhere!

Posted on March 10, 2016

TruFob Wireless Tracking Tag

Last week, my slideshow of 10 great new gadgets to take on your next trip was featured on USA Today 10Best. That TruFob Wireless Tracking Tag, above, is one of my favorites, whether you’re traveling or not. (Hello, lost keys!)

While doing my research, I discovered so many other must-have travel gadgets that I decided to write another post to share some of them with you. Seriously, you will wonder how you ever traveled without these.

I’m going to give away a couple of these so leave a comment below to let me know which item you want the most. more »

shout-out to our viking star family!

Posted on March 7, 2016

Viking Star Lois and captain

Michael and I are still raving about our Grand Mediterranean Tour aboard the Star, Viking’s first ocean cruise ship last month. It was probably the best cruise we’ve ever taken.

Although, obviously, we love to travel, we’re usually ready to come home, especially after being away for 15 days. But, for the first time ever, both of us kept asking how we could stow away for a couple more weeks. We have never felt like that on any cruise before.

A huge part of the credit goes to the amazing crew. Although the ship itself is magnificent, it’s the people who always make or break a trip, and the people on the Star are equally magnificent, starting at the top. more »

kimpton hotel palomar philadelphia

Posted on March 3, 2016

Kimpton Palomar Philadelphia elevator

This is their ELEVATOR!

Continuing our quest to stay in every Kimpton hotel in the country (a goal I quickly added to my bucket list after our most recent stay), Michael and I spent last weekend at the gorgeous Hotel Palomar Philadelphia. more »

our viking ocean cruise, part 2

Posted on February 18, 2016

Lois and Michael on Viking Star

Well, yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday nicely segues into today’s Throwback Thursday so I can share photos from the second half of our 15 day Viking Ocean Cruise to Spain, Italy and France. We’re throwing all the way back to, oh, a couple of weeks ago when we sailed on the amazing Viking Star. more »

wordless wednesday: our viking ocean cruise!

Posted on February 17, 2016

Lois and Michael on Viking Star

I rarely do Wordless Wednesday posts but it seemed like the perfect time to share photos of our amazing — and I mean AMAZING — Viking Ocean Cruise aboard the gorgeous Viking Star.

As I’ve mentioned before, Viking invited us to experience its first ocean cruise ship and, although we’ve been on many cruises before, we are still raving about the 15-day Grand Mediterranean Tour.

Let me tell you, grand is an understatement. I’m going to have to write a number of posts to try to give you a real feel for just how special this cruise is.

But today, I’m going to whet your appetite with pictures that represent each port we visited during the first half of our trip. more »

top 12 musts for lois’ great adventure on the viking star

Posted on January 20, 2016

Viking Star Monte Carlo

You know how much we love our Viking river cruises.

Well, we just booked our first Viking Ocean Cruise — yes, Viking is now cruising on the ocean, too! — and we are so excited.

We were even more excited after I received an amazing email with the subject line, “12 Musts for Lois’ Great Adventure on the Viking Star,” from My Viking Agent, CBA, who has become a real friend after helping us plan our Portraits of Southern France and Heart of Germany river cruises last year.

She had just come back from a shorter version of the cruise we’ll be taking on the Viking Star, and she couldn’t stop raving about the ship. We had read all the amazing reviews of the Viking Star, which has already won all the top industry awards in its first year, but she made it really personal by sharing her favorite experiences, all of which can (and will) be replicated by us — and all of you! more »

why a viking river cruise just might save your marriage

Posted on January 14, 2016

Lois and Michael lifejackets

After 34 years of marriage, there are bound to be rough patches when every conversation seems to turn into an argument. When you pass each other in the kitchen without saying a word. When you spend most of the day – and sometimes the night – in separate rooms.

Unfortunately, it was during one of those patches last spring that Michael and I were finally offered a Viking River Cruise, the trip we’d been hoping for since I started travel writing. For years, we had drooled over the gorgeous commercials before every episode of Downton Abbey, picturing ourselves holding hands as we lazily floated down the Rhine or the Rhone, surrounded by magnificent scenery.

Now, all we could picture was being captive together in a small room in the middle of the water. more »

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