About Jen Melo

Jennifer Melo is a Toronto-based writer and digital content specialist whose favourite vacation non-activity is lounging in the sun on a beautiful stretch of beach. She’s also a cake-decorating hobbyist and creator of prettybakesblog.com.

7 steps to a wonderful weekend in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Point Lobos State Nature Reserve (Credit: Jen Melo)

Imagine quaint cottages, topped with the terracotta roof tiles as in Europe, lined with lush lawns, pristine landscaping and towering palm trees. And all of this is set to a soothing soundtrack of waves rushing in and flowing out to the Pacific Ocean. “Picturesque” aptly describes Carmel-by-the Sea, an idyllic village in Monterey, California. But […]

Israel: Your eat, play and stay travel guide

Sightseeing-in-Israel-Masada

Planning a trip to Israel? You lucky thing, you! Click the images and links below for guides on what to eat, what to see and where to stay while you’re in the Holy Land. What and where to eat in Israel: Top 20 tips From falafel and hummus to shakshuka and za’atar, find out what […]

3 award-worthy Dan hotels in Israel

Dan Panorama Tel Aviv pool

On a five-day trip to Israel, I stayed at three Dan hotels and noticed something special about each one. “If I could give each establishment an award, what would it be?” I thought. And my fickle mind couldn’t decide on just one award so each gets two. Read on to find out how these hotels compare […]

Sightseeing in Israel, part 2: Masada, the Dead Sea and Jerusalem

Masada and The Dead Sea

Masada and the Dead Sea My heart skipped a beat and I gasped at Masada when I took in the incredible views from the top of a lookout point. Surrounded by deep canyons as far as the eye could see, I was awestruck. Home to Herod’s Palace, Masada’s breathtaking beauty is certainly worthy of royalty. […]

Sightseeing in Israel part 1: Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Haifa and Mt. Carmel

Bahai Gardens, Haifa

If you’re ever in doubt that international news fails to affect the modern world, tell family and friends you’re going to Israel and notice their reactions. Concern is definitely there. Worry too. The Middle East is a headline-capturing area and its political conflicts seem to be an ever-present dark cloud that hovers over the region. […]

What and where to eat in Israel: Top 20 tips

Lahmacun-Dan-Gourmet-Cooking-School

On a five-day Taste of Israel tour organized by Stand With Us, I visited local restaurants, bustling food markets and participated in cooking classes that connected me to some of the people and mouth-watering foods of Israel. Since I’m still progressing from what used to be a picky palate, I was surprised to find that I enjoyed […]

10 great reasons to visit Norfolk, Virginia

Sail About with Nauticus

It’s pronounced naw-fok, not Nor-folk. Don’t maim the name. Norfolk is Virginia’s second-most populated city with more than 245,000 residents, home to the world’s biggest Navy base (Naval Station Norfolk), and it’s a hidden gem for budget-conscious travelers. How do we describe this U.S. travel destination? Let us count the ways. 1. Budget-friendly Free community festivals, […]

10 reasons to stay at The Fairmont Hamilton Princess

The Fairmont Hamilton Princess is pretty in pink.

It’s the biggest urban resort in Bermuda, with more than 400 rooms, and rates start at $468/night. The Fairmont Hamilton Princess has been hosting guests since 1885 when it was called “The Princess,” in honour of Queen Victoria’s fourth daughter Princess Louise. 10 reasons to stay at The Fairmont Hamilton Princess 1. Location As a […]