15 Highlights in Costa Rica, a Naturalist’s Delight

Río Celeste (Credit: Melissa Curtin)

Pura Vida! That’s the phrase you’ll hear most often in Costa Rica. It means “pure life” or “plenty of life.” It’s a greeting and a response to a greeting, but it also reflects the essence with which the Costa Ricans lead their life. Costa Rica was like an adventurous dream, a dream of the unexpected […]

Hilton Garden Inn Los Angeles/Hollywood – A Walk or Metro to All the Spots

The Hilton Garden Inn Los Angeles/Hollywood

The updated Hilton Garden Inn Los Angeles/Hollywood is right on Highland Avenue, just a block from Hollywood Blvd and within walking distance of all the tourist hot spots in Hollywood. It’s a short walk from the Hollywood Bowl. You can easily walk to the metro to get downtown right at the fancy outdoor shopping plaza at Hollywood […]

Travel Style: Melissa Curtin

Melissa Curtin

Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers on useful resources, favorite destinations and what they never leave home without. Name:  Melissa Curtin Occupation:  Writer, Editor, Journalist, Teacher, Private Tutor, Designer/Owner of Wear2learn T-shirts Hometown: Old Lyme, Connecticut Residence: Los Angeles (5 years) and Washington, DC for almost 10 […]

Dreaming of Mazatlan food

The sunset from El Shrimp Bucket in Mazatlan.

Shrimp ceviche, beer battered shrimp, coconut shrimp, cockroach shrimp, grilled shrimp, bacon wrapped shrimp, barbeque shrimp, peel and eat shrimp, shrimp tacos, shrimp quesadillas, and garlic shrimp. Images of Tom Hanks in the film Forest Gump (“Shrimp gumbo, shrimp creole, shrimp soup…”) were conjured up in my mind daily in Mazatlan as I devoured the […]

Cultural Highlights of Medellin, Colombia

The Castle

Medellin pronounced “Meda-jean” in Colombia, South America is a vibrant city located in a valley about 626 miles northeast of Bogotá and about an hour and a half from the Amazon.  There has been an enormous educational, cultural, social, and urban transformation in Medellin. Today about 2 million tourists visit this city each year, a […]

Where to Eat in Medellin, Colombia

Traditional Medellin meal in Colombia

The most memorable dining experience I have ever had in my life occurred at El Cielo in Medellin, Colombia. Literally, the night was a sensual feast for all senses. We had what they call 11 moments.  One can have up to 20 moments. The chef Juan Manuel Barrientos, winner of several awards, has created a gastronomic […]

W Retreat and Spa on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico – A Destination In Itself

IMG_6177

W Retreat & Spa- Vieques Island opened its doors on March 25, 2010 as the first W Retreat & Spa in North America with 30 acres of beachfront property. It is the second W Retreat & Spa after the successful opening of another one in the Maldives in 2006. Other recent new W Retreats include […]

Top Reasons Vieques Island, Puerto Rico Should Be Your #1 Caribbean Destination

One of the beaches in front of the W Hotel Retreat and Spa, Vieques Island

Vieques Island is located just eight miles east of Puerto Rico and is definitely the place where you should head to get away from it all.  Escape everyday life stressors to enjoy Vieques beauty, quiet, and pristine beaches. The whole island feels like it is your own. This would be a great wedding destination or […]