Home Archives 2012 February

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Today we are featuring, Tim Rutherford, who writes about food and wine — and consults a variety of food and beverage clients on everything from event marketing to operations and menu development. His website, savannahfoodie.com, covers the local food scene and supplements his 5,000 circulation weekly e-mail newsletter.

The almost simultaneous occurrence of the the 1996 Olympic sailing venue  and the release of John Berendt’s “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” sparked a resurgence of tourism to the Hostess City — and fueled Savannah’s growing reputation as a culinary destination. If you have never visited Savannah before you should know that a first stop for many visitors are the pioneers, the restauranteurs who have persevered.

Nate and Heather Wells began married life by spending a year honeymooning throughout Europe and the States. They feared opening the chapter on kids meant closing the one on travel. Now with three sons, they have found this doesn’t have to be so. They write about their ongoing adventures at TheFamilySuitcase.com.

It is tempting to get distracted by Savannah’s distinct references in popular culture. Bonaventure Cemetery in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Paula Deen’s cooking, and Forrest Gump’s park bench may all be perfectly worth your while; however, our family’s recent visit revealed an even richer experience than we anticipated.  As my brother-in-law-cum-Savannah local puts it: “Savannah still represents the elegance and sophistication that the old south was all about. It is pure southern charm.” A walking tour is a great way to experience the truth behind this description.

Why, why Georgia, why? Peaches, history, sunshine…what else do you need?! Georgia’s warmth with lull you into a state of relaxation you have never known. These deals will take you to the most southeast point in the state for a historical trip to Savannah or simply a nice beach vacation on Tybee Island. Pack up your bags and get ready for a trip down south.

Up to 15% off total stay!

The Barnard Apple Suite is a historic vacation rental renovated with eco-friendly and sustainable practices. Wake up to sunny Savannah to enjoy a cup of coffee in your private courtyard before walking the historic downtown area with your pup.

Up to 15% off off total stay!

This organic vacation rental has an old charm of its own. An ideal location for exploring Savannah, this quaint apartment is located on a peaceful street two blocks from Forsyth Park where you can spend the afternoon by the fountain.

15% off total stay!

Located on Georgia’s Tybee Island, this beach view home is perfect for your next family vacation. Sleeping up to 13, this rental has incredible balcony views of North Beach and historic Tybee Lighthouse.



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by Barrie Cleveland
California Winery Advisor

The French have been arguing for decades to persuade Americans to stop calling our sparkling wine “Champagne.” They postulate, rightly, that Champagne comes from that sacred region innorthern France where the bubbly was first created, and should not be confused with the various sparkling wines made from Temecula to Topeka.

According to legend, a blind French monk named Dom Pierre Perignon had the first taste of Champagne, around 1700, when he tasted wine that had mistakenly gone through a secondary fermentation.

The secondary fermentation took place when the wine, that had finished its normal fermentation, still had some residual sugar left in the juice. Within the closed bottle or cask, the fermentation started again, and with no place for the resulting carbon dioxide togo, it was absorbed into the wine, creating those tiny bubbles.

Dom Perignon supposedly came up from the cellarand exclaimed, “I have been drinking stars!”

by Joanna Eng

If you headed to the Gulf Coast or had your own Carnival celebration this year, the whole shebang probably involved lots of colorful plastic beads. Mardi Gras beads are tons of fun, but they can also create a lot of waste. Rather than throwing them away or letting them collect dust on your dresser, never to be used again, try some of these methods of reusing, “upcycling,” or even crafting your own beads.

Where to donate beads

If you’re in New Orleans, you can head to local nonprofit Arc of Greater New Orleans after the party’s over. They’ll take your used beads and re-sell them at next year’s festivities to raise money for their mission to serve people with intellectual disabilities and delays. There are four different bead drop-off locations.

Elsewhere, consider giving your beads to children’s after school programs or senior centers or recycled art supply centers, or anywhere else where colorful crafts are likely to bring people joy.

Today we are featuring, Megan Kaseburg, a travel blog writer who promotes Miami tours and attractions for the Gray Line Miami Blog.

Miami is home to the rich and famous who love to enjoy the good life. It’s not surprising then that Miami can be a somewhat difficult place for travelers on a modest budget. The best way to save some dough but not skimp on your vacation experience is to stop at one (or let´s be honest, several) of Miami’s best food trucks. Food truck fever has spread all across the US but no where else is this food trend as hot and spicy as it is in Miami. Offering a wide variety gourmet flavors at incredibly reasonable prices, food trucks are perfect for hanging out with the locals as you savor a sampling of small plates of delicious eats.  Here are some of the best food trucks in Miami:

Join Will Smith and “party in the city where the heat is on.” Typically a Resort City, Miami Beach can be more affordable and comfortable when you take advantage of these great deals on your next vacation. You’ll be within walking distance of the nightlife but still have enough privacy to enjoy your family vacation. So put your shades on and head on down to the beach…Welcome to Miami.

20% off total stay!

This 5 star beach front property has everything you could ask for. Residing in a 1930s Art Deco building, you will have the best sea view around, be within walking distance of Miami’s nightlife, and have your own private whirlpool. What else do you need?

Get 1 Night Free!

A modern studio, this apartment is in the perfect quiet location 3 blocks from the beach and only 1 block from Flamingo Park & the public pool. Enjoy the best of both worlds with nightlife excitement and peaceful sleep, you won’t regret it.

20% off total stay!

Part of Mondrian South Beach Residence, this luxurious suite offers high class living you will never want to leave. Enjoy the ocean view from your balcony, the loft like spaces designed by Marcel Wanders, and top it off with the Bay Front Pool.

50% off total stay!

This unbelievable studio is located in Trump International Hotel and offers beach access from the building. Eat a sunset dinner on the balcony and then cozy up in your own private jacuzzi to absorb the beautiful Miami Beach with a loved one.



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by Jenn & Hannah

It is a great time to take the family skiing! If you’re headed to the East Coast, New Hampshire is a natural choice for enjoying winter fun in the White Mountains. Everyone is familiar with the well publicized (read that very expensive) big hills with lodges and hot tubs, but there are other budget stretching options! With little kids, you probably don’t need six world class black diamond runs and an enclosed heated lift as much as you need affordable child care and lift tickets that are budget friendly! Here are three options that fit the bill:

Pat’s Peak 

Located in Henniker, NH, Pat’s Peak is a family run outfit with a variety of winter fun on tap, from tubing to skiing, snowboarding and snow biking too! Their nursery is small, with an excellent child-care giver ratio. Reservations are recommended. With long, slow, sloping green hills that run from the top of the mountain down, this is a great place to teach kids to ski. They’ll be able to get off of the “bunny hill” quickly and experience success. With full day lift tickets for adults under $60, and discounts for ticket bundle deals, everybody wins. This is where we taught our four kids to ski, and it’s my first pick for value and a family friendly atmosphere. That they are adherents to the Sustainable Slopes Charter is just a bonus!

Mount Sunapee 

Located in Newbury, NH, Mount Sunapee is a wonderful place to take kids! They have a full service childcare program for children up to five years old and an array of lessons for all ages. Reservations are recommended. Kids five and under ski free with a ticketed adult, and with eight lifts there are plenty of choices for skiers of all levels. Unlike Pat’s Peak, they have “ski and stay” packages arranged with local inns that include a lift ticket and breakfast, which is very convenient for families traveling to ski.

Ragged Mountain

Ragged Mountain, in Danbury, NH, is where we took our kids when they’d mastered the basics and were ready for the next skiing challenge. Unlike some other hills, which begin childcare with one year olds, Ragged Mountain has a daycare program for babies as young as six weeks old, which is extremely convenient for nursing mothers! With a range of discounted lift ticket deals adults can ski for as little as $31 per day, mid week. Ragged Mountain also boasts an array of slope side lodging, from fully equipped, self catering apartments, to bunk rooms where you can stay for as little as $20 per person per night. Think of it as a skiing hostel!

Don’t miss the opportunity to ski with your family this winter. Snow is more than a chore to be shoveled, it’s winter’s greatest play thing! Pack your kids, pack your sense of adventure and hit the slopes!

A dynamic mother-daughter duo of travel writers, Jenn & Hannah are in their fourth year of an open ended world tour. Their partners in crime are Dad & 3 brothers and together they are http://www.edventureproject.com

It’s no secret that Canada has a successful formula to superb skiing during the winter. Mont Tremblant has been a sensation in Canada’s Eastern region for years. In fact, the area has been honored with Ski Magazine’s title “Best snow skiing in Eastern North America” for 12 consecutive years.

To reach the stunning alpines of Mont Tremblant from Montreal, head north on the main thoroughfare of Autoroute Laurentienne (Hwy 15 North) – it’s about a two hour drive (80 miles/130 km). You’ll arrive at a winter wonderland, where you can exercise up and down on more than 94 runs, and some 600 skiable acres. To be exact, one of the longest ski trails in the country at nearly 4 miles long is located at Mont Tremblant.

After years of the same old hat of just conventional skiing, take a leap this year and try something new. Here’s a few adrenaline-spiking activities for you to indulge in this season at Mont Tremblant:

by Emily Monaco

When I tell people that I went to Canada for college, most people seem surprised, especially when they learn that I have no family connection to the Great White North. I’m not entirely sure what drew me to Canada, but as soon as I arrived in Toronto, I found that a perfect mix of the familiar and the foreign was awaiting me. Toronto was just similar enough to American cities to be easy to navigate and get used to; it was just different enough to always give me new things to explore.

My favorite, however, was getting out of my comfort zone, like we did when ten of us decided to pack up for a week of skiing in Québec. Up until that point, skiing had always been a family affair for me: our trips to Vermont were spent cocooned in our rented condominium; meals were homemade by my mother and delivered directly to cold laps. Our ski vacation in Québec was a combination of skiing and tourism, of getting to bed long after nightfall and getting up shortly after daybreak to hit the slopes. I don’t think I’ve ever been more tired, but I never had more fun either.