Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Suit Supply on 59th and Madison Avenue in NYC to get fitted for a new Navy Oxford Traveller Shirt. The associate who was fitting me, Jeremy, made the whole process simple and effortless. My arm length, waist and shoulder width were measured for an exact fitting and I picked the fabric of my choice. I did have the option to pick the shirt in-store but I opted for a Custom Made one, even though the wait time was approximately three weeks. Along with custom made shirts, Suitsupply also makes tuxedos, sport-coats, two-piece and three piece suits for the modern gentleman at an affordable price. This attainable luxury at a fair price-point is what Suitsupply believes in and is a viewpoint that I highly respect. I’m looking forward to wearing the Navy Oxford Traveller Shirt paired with a Navy wool suit and a repp tie as we head into the cooler months and next summer with a Khaki blazer or tan suit.
I’m a professed red wine lover with an affinity to the Zinfandel grape. I recently learned that Zinfandel originated in Croatia and coincidentally just had the opportunity to experience the Vina Matela Crlkenak Kastelanski Zinfandel 2015 from Croatia. Pouring it into the glass, I immediately smelled dark red fruit such as cherry and blackberries. With the first sip, that fruit exploded on my palate followed by flavors of anise, spices and pepper. It was truly an enjoyable bottle of red wine, having all the excellent qualities that the Zinfandel grape provides. Thank you Vina Matela for the memorable tasting experience.
There’s no surprise why the Durant Oxford Brogues is one of the most popular items in the Beckett Simonon’s collection. These shoes are handmade one at a time by local artisans in their factories both in Europe and South America. Beckett Simonon creates a new and unique product each month and allows the customer to pre-order the shoe one month prior to it being made. This is a user- friendly and creative way to both market and shop for a shoe and one that I’ve not seen offered by any other shoe company. These Blake constructed shoes are beautifully made of soft full grain calf leather and are fully breathable providing ultimate comfort for long days (or nights) on your feet. They also have a sturdy leather sole and are made with durable rubber heels. I paired the Blake with blue and yellow lightning bolt socks and blue cotton glen plaid pants. This outfit felt both formal and comfortable and one that I’d wear to either a gala or a summer soiree. If you need any other reason to buy Beckett Simonon shoes, they have excellent customer service and confidence in their product and all purchases are provided a one year warranty.
Longmont, Colorado is a historic town just northwest of Denver where I had the pleasure of spending a few days last month. Upon arriving, I checked into the Thompson House Inn and my accommodations were exactly what you would expect from a charming bed and breakfast. It was comfortable, quaint and personable and even included afternoon tea.
Longmont is home to many excellent and well-known and varied restaurants around town, including Mike O’Shay’s, Lucile’s Cajun Cuisine, Jefe’s Tacos and Tequila. Two others, The Roost and Samples, were featured on the television show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”. But I have to give a shout out to Cheese Importers. This restaurant is housed in a building that has had many lives. Starting as the first power station to service city residents and most recently a storage facility for the City of Longmont Museum. Now, it’s a successful cheese importer and bistro that is well known to both residents and visitors of Longmont.
The city also offers public art, including a self-guided Art in Public Places tour that you can see on a bicycle through Zagster Bike Share. Downtown Longmont 2nd Friday featuring gallery openings and other activities sponsored by the Downtown Longmont Creative District.
I also enjoyed Rosalee’s Pizza, which adapted an old world, east coast style of making pizza with a thin chewy crust. Coming from someone who has eaten a lot of east coast pizza, Rosalee’s Pizza held its own!
On Saturday morning I visited the Longmont Farmers Market, which began in 1989, and is held at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. I grew up going to farmer’s markets and wholly appreciate that this market is producer-only, where the farmers only sell what they grow. Their season lasts from April - November. I enjoyed hearing local live music while walking through the market, sampling produce and seeing what crops were grown in the area.
Lunch on this day was at The Dickens Tavern, located downstairs from the Dickens Opera House. This upscale restaurant offered a menu of American gourmet comfort food in a 19th century setting.
Longmont is known for its craft breweries and after lunch, I jumped on the Brewhop Trolley, a really fun tour around town, where I sampled the local offerings of St. Vrain Cidery, GrossenBart Brewery and Wibby Brewing. So much beer and so little time…Cheers!
My evening continued with a shuttle to Nitro Fest, held at the well-known Left Hand Brewery. Nitro Fest is a beer festival with regional, national and international breweries showcasing their “nitro” products. I didn’t think I liked dark beer, but then after trying an exceptional Milk Nitro Stout, I was a convert. This year the featured music were the bands MarchFourth and BIG Something. The festival was also visually entertaining with many people dressed in costume, because it was a “Voodoo Masquerade Formal” themed event. Nitro Fest was a great night filled with live music, macabre performances and delicious beer and one that I highly recommend attending.
On Sunday morning I woke up to a picture perfect Colorado snowfall and enjoyed a Bluegrass Brunch at Oskar Blues. This local restaurant is known for it’s excellent beer and, in fact, was the first craft brewery in the United States to start canning their own beer. Dale’s Pale Ale, first canned in 2002 started the craft beer-in-a-can craze. The menu featured southern breakfast specialties such as Chicken and Waffles, Biscuits and Gravy and Chicken Fried Steak. There was even a make your own Bloody Mary and Mimosa Bar and local musicians brought their own instruments for an impromptu blues session. Brunch at Oskar Blues was a great way to start a Sunday!
On Sunday afternoon, I attended a cheese-making workshop at The Art of Cheese. As a cheese lover, it was very satisfying to learn how to make my own ricotta and mozzarella at home. Simple recipes, including the correct milk to use, had us creating and stretching the curd in no time. Stuffing the mozzarella with fresh ricotta created my absolute favorite cheese, burrata. Served with a glass of red wine, I was in cheese nirvana.
A Caesar Salad and Farmhouse Burger at Samples finished my day on a delicious note. Samples is a restaurant that serves amazing comfort food and has over 30 rotating craft beers on tap. It also has an awesome mission to provide employment for adults with disabilities through their Sample Supports program.
Although I was only in Longmont for three days, my itinerary was full, and this brief but wonderful stay has me wanting to return and explore the city some more. The highlight of the trip was discovering Longmont itself and what the town, founded in 1871, had to offer. What I found was a city of historic architecture, art and culture, an amazing selection of beer, excellent restaurants fun outdoor activities and very friendly people. Longmont is an awesome city in the incredibly beautiful state of Colorado and definitely worth a visit!
Have you ever heard of the Halo skin laser treatment? This is a skin rejuvenation laser that’s both non-invasive and has little to no downtime. As described on the New Look New Life website, this laser “uses a dual wavelength process that also includes a cooling system to ensure complete comfort through out the treatment”. This machine helps to fix multiple skin issues such as sunspots, sun damage and my personal issue of acne scars. To minimize discomfort during this procedure, I was offered Ibuprofen and numbing cream. Dr. Elena Vega, a cosmetic surgeon, performed the procedure. She divided my face into four quadrants and guided the laser over each for approximately fifteen minutes. The entire treatment took about one hour. Post treatment, I was given an ice pack and an aloe vera mask. Although everyone’s skin reacts differently to this laser, my skin became very red. However, a few days later, the treated skin began to flake, revealing a smoother texture and an overall healthier appearance. The happy ending was that my acne scars were dramatically diminished. I encourage you to go to visit New Look New Life and consult with Dr. Elena Vega and her team regarding your own skin issues.
So, do you want to walk in my shoes? Then try these from the luxury men’s shoe start up called Beckett Simonon. These double monk straps are super stylish and comfortable. For Fall and into Winter, I would pair them with tweed pants or with dark denim. These Italian, leather double monk straps shown in burgundy are a stylish option to wear with either your finest tweed suit or your dark denim jeans. An important “green” feature of these shoes is that they’re resole-able. I often resole my favorite shoes and I encourage you to do the same. So, would you like a pair of your own at a 20% savings? Visit Beckett Simonon and use the code TAYLOR20 for a great deal on an exceptional pair of shoes.
Every good kitchen deserves a sharp knife and every serious cook knows that good knives are an investment. They're also useful, practical and pretty much necessary for daily cooking. Not only that, because they require greater pressure when slicing, dull knives are dangerous and cause more kitchen accidents than sharp ones.
To keep my knives at their cutting best, I use the sharpener from Work Sharp Culinary, a “made in America” product from Oregon. As an added benefit, Work Sharp Culinary believes in environmental sustainability and respects the resources it uses. After reducing and reusing, the company recycles as much of their waste as possible including corrugated, glass, aluminum, steel, other metals, and plastics.
The Work Sharp Culinary E5 electric kitchen knife sharpener uses both a control speed and a high-performance sharpening belt to make the whole process both simple and user friendly. The 8" ceramic honing rod guides the knife through the belt allowing a consistent edge. The one-touch programing built into the machine makes it easy for me to shape, sharpen and refine my knives at any time with the push of a button. I actually enjoy cooking now that I have good tools, starting with sharp knives. The simple act of slicing a tomato is effortless now and my knife glides through a sirloin steak.
So any way you slice it, Work Sharp Culinary makes an excellent product that is America-made by an environmentally responsible company. Nothing dicey about that!
This treatment is a two-part laser process. My NeoClear practitioner, Marianne Woody, MSN, DCNP" began the NeoClear treatment With one single pass, this laser can stop excess sebum production, decrease inflammation and destroy acne causing bacteria. The second step of this treatment is to spot treat the individual active acne lesions. This was my fourth Aerolase treatment in two months and as always, I’ve loved the results. My skin immediately felt clearer and brighter with less oil and reduced pigment left over from acne scars. My practitioner recommends that I receive 6 NeoClear treatments for optimal results and come for maintenance treatments throughout the year when my skin needs some TLC. What is so great about this laser is not only can it treat acne and acne scarring, but also can address skin tone and texture and other unwanted skin issues such as warts, scars, rosacea and redness.
I highly recommend NeoClear by Aerolase Acne Laser Therapy as a stop acne in its tracks type of treatment. Visit Juva Skin & Laser Center for a consultation and see what Aerolase can do to improve your skin.
The second part of my trip to Quebec was as equally memorable and beautiful as the first. We left the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac very early in the morning and drove back to Montmorency Falls to catch a train to Charlevoix. The Charlevoix region is located North East of Quebec City, along the St. Lawrence River, and is known for rolling hills, agriculture and scenic views. This renowned region has also been declared a UNESCO World Biosphere, an internationally recognized area of ecological importance. During our one hour train ride, we passed centuries old, quaint villages along the river from Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre to Baie-Saint-Paul where the train dropped us off directly at our hotel at the Baie-Saint-Paul station. Our stay for this night was at the Le Germain Charlevoix Hotel and Spa. This 4-star hotel is set on a working farm, complete with grazing cows and sheep, and was once home to a large wooden barn complex. When an accident caused the barns to burn down in 2007, the hotel was constructed on its footprint and the result is one of historic rustic elegance with chic modern amenities. Looking out the window of my room onto the farm and hills, I was captivated by the beauty of the Canadian countryside and could easily imagine being in France. Baie-Saint-Paul is a small charming 16th Century village and after lunch at Le Mouton Noir, we wandered the afternoon away through it’s narrow streets, browsing the shops and many art galleries. Returning to the hotel, we all enjoyed the pool, jacuzzi and steam room before dinner. This was exactly what was needed after an early morning train ride and a full afternoon of exploring. Dinner was at the hotel, at Les Labours Restaurant. Being on location at a farm, you can just imagine how fresh and seasonal the food was. Our dining experience was unique in that the kitchen was open on all four sides, so the food was truly the star of the show. I enjoyed a glass of red wine, a vegetarian Beet Foie Gras and Magdalen Island’s Scallops. After a long and happy day, I welcomed the luxurious comforts of my room that made it easy to unwind and refresh for our next day of adventure.
Day 4 started with a sumptuous breakfast before we headed to our final destination of La Malbaie and the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu. Only 90 minutes from Quebec City, this stunning 5-star hotel sits above the St. Lawrence River and was built in 1929 to resemble a French castle. In part because of its natural beauty, it was most recently the host of the newsworthy 44th G7 Summit this past June. Area activities include snowshoeing, dog sledding and skiing in the winter and golf, hiking and whale watching in the summer. For our last night in Canada we had dinner outside on the patio at Le Table Terroir. Most memorable was my perfectly grilled steak and the variety of amazing caramels and chocolates we enjoyed at the end of the meal. On our final day, we drove back to Quebec City in a luxury bus and headed to the airport (and back to reality). My trip was just outstanding, went by far too quickly and I was sorry to see it end. Our days were filled with local food and drink, art, architecture, history and culture, amazing scenery, outdoor activities and superb accommodations. Quebec is such an easy flight from New York but mentally it’s a world away, so there’s no excuse to not visit again (and again). I can’t thank Quebec Tourism enough for the opportunity to experience this very historic and beautiful Canadian province and the for the lasting memories that it brought. It was a great, great trip.
Last month I had the pleasure of traveling with a small group of writers and bloggers to Quebec City with Quebec Tourism. Quebec City is located on the Saint Lawerence River, in the predominantly French speaking province of Quebec. My accommodations three nights were at the Fairmont Frontenac, an historic and elegant hotel that just celebrated it’s 125 anniversary in June. This landmark hotel has hosted many world leaders and celebrities, including Charlie Chaplin, FDR, Winston Churchill, Alfred Hitchcock, Paul McCartney and Celine Dion.
This first night in the city started with dinner at the exceptional Restaurant Louis-Hebert in Old Quebec City. I thoroughly enjoyed the succulent veal, a local "ambre" beer and for dessert the insanely delicious “Opera” cake. After dinner, we headed to the Festival d-ete de Quebec, the largest music festival in Canada. I was fortunate (and thrilled) to see the Foo Fighters live in concert at the Plaines d’Abraham venue and on this night it was filled with over 200,000 people. It was awesome to be immersed in the culture with everyone around me speaking French. The Foo Fighters are legendary and they put on an amazing performance.
The next day we continued to explore the incredibly beautiful and charming Old Quebec. This part of the city seemed untouched by modern times and the architecture, gardens and cobblestone streets were something out of a storybook. I was also impressed by all the different types of roofs and original antique doors. Later, on our walk to dinner, we explored Place-Royale, an area settled in 1608 by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain that is also the home of Norte-Dame-des Victoires, the oldest stone church in North America. We stopped for a beer at La Cour Arriere du Festibiere, a micro brew pub on the St. Laurence River overlooking the Port of Quebec. This seasonal pop-up bar is unique in that it offers seating in a large wading pool, making it a perfect place to cool off on a summers evening. Dinner was at Chez Muffy, located in an historic shipping warehouse dating to the 1600’s and part of the new Auberge Saint-Antoine hotel. This restaurant focused on local seasonal flavors, and shared plates. Everything was farm to table sourced from the hotel’s own farm so the food was fresh and delicious. I started with an appetizer of asparagus and herring, continued with the rigatoni pasta course and ended with a perfectly grilled steak For dessert, the chocolate soufflé with fresh mint ice cream satisfied my sweet tooth. The food, setting and company made this a memorable night! One of the more interesting things about the Auberge Saint-Antoine is the number of French and English artifacts found during an archaeological dig on the property before the hotel was built in 1992. Hundreds of items from a canon to personal belongings were unearthed and are now on display throughout the public areas and private rooms. The Port of Quebec was once North America’s busiest port and it certainly has the history to prove it.
Day 3 highlights of touring Quebec City included visiting The Ursulines Museum. This is a museum of priceless artifacts and works of art located on a former convent of the Ursuline order of Catholic nuns. The original nuns arrived from France in 1639 with a specific job to educate girls, making it the oldest girls school in North America. The convent, including a chapel and garden has been rebuilt and renovated several times and was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1972. We also got a chance to visit Montmorency Falls, just a short drive from Quebec City. This spectacular waterfall, at 276 feet is 99 feet taller than Niagara Falls and drops from a cliff of the Montmorency River into the Saint Laurence River at it’s base. There’s a suspension bridge across the top of the Falls and a tram that takes visitors from the base to the top and a series of 487 steps should you want to climb up. But I chose to see Montmorency Falls from a zip line! Outfitted in the proper gear, I zipped across the front of the falls in 15 seconds of pure adrenaline. It was an awesome ride and I highly recommend this approach for an unconventional and exhilarating memory of Quebec.
After some research in my ongoing quest to reduce old acne scars, I recently decided to try a Lutronic LaseMD resurfacing treatment. I went to see Dr. Daniel Belkin at Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. The LaseMD treatment is designed to correct old pigment and acne scars and is safe on all skin types. Each treatment can be customized from 6-20 minutes depending on the patient’s skin issues and its recommend to have at least three treatments to see good results.
As a pre-treatment, Dr. Belkin applied a numbing cream on my entire face, removing it after 20 minutes. The Lutronic laser is designed to roll across the skin and poke microscopic holes or channels, creating new passage ways to resurface the skin. During consultation, Dr. Belkin suggested five passes with the laser and fortunately the numbing cream on my face continued to work! Afterwards, my skin looked really red, like a bad sunburn. To calm the skin, a serum was first applied to the area followed by a sheet mask to deliver deeper results. I’m happy with how my skin responded to the Lutronic LaseMD treatment and would recommend a consultation with Dr. Belkin if you're looking for a quick, light resurfacing treatment at an affordable price.
Recently, I had some great organic Hiball Energy drinks. Based in San Fransisco, Hiball is a good, healthy alternative to your regular energy drink and each one comes with zero calories, zero sugar and are non-gmo. Hi-Ball founder Todd Berardi was working as an investment banker when he first came up with the idea for Hiball. He liked drinking another high caffeine beverage, however, he didn't enjoy the crash that came with it immediately afterwards. To help counter-act this effect, he then came up with the idea to add sparkling water to a high energy drink and a new product was made. All the flavors I had were delicious and none of them tasted overly sugary or too sweet. Hiball is carried at your local Whole Foods and check their website to see other locations.
Theres something special about receiving packages. I love the excitement of ordering something and waiting for it to arrive to my apartment or unexceptionally receiving something you didn't know was coming in the first place. I've recently partnered with Bestowe Gifting, an online gifting resource for those who want buy and send gifts or to hire to design custom gifts for special events. Bestowe prides themselves on high quality and well designed artisan small-batch goods. Some of the items included in these boxes includes: housewarming gifts, kitchen wares, self care bath products, men’s gifts, give for baby showers and bridesmaids and groomsman.
I had a great experience working with Bestowe. We partnered to come up with a box that felt right to my brand and a gift that would suit any groomsman, man of fine taste, father or friend. Bestowe did a great job sourcing and curating items and were really easy to work with. The box we've partnered on with Bestowe, most appropriately called, The Tie Guy. It features your choice of 6 different ties, a leather and brass keychain and a delicious bar of Whiskey chocolate. I will definitely be using the service to ship out future gifts to my family and friends. And if you'd like to as well, they are offering a 20% discount for my readers through the end of August 2018. Just type in Tie20 at check out https://bestowegifting.com/ and you're set.
Back acne or "bacne" is a common problem that's not talked about very much. Year-round frequent exercising and increased sweating during the summer months can result in acne on the back. Scrubs and peels are the first defense, but that can sometimes exacerbate the issue. Another way to combat this is to manually remove the hair follicle with waxing. It's important to remove the entire hair follicle to deter bacteria from growing and to stop future acne from forming. But since waxing is temporary, as all the hair will eventually grow back, laser hair removal is a better option. I've had multiple laser hair removal treatments in the past and each time there is less and less hair to remove. Recently, I decided to try Satori Laser on 86 Street between 1st and 2nd avenues. Although never being to Satori Laser, I already knew I was was in good hands since all five of their locations have excellent online reviews.
Satori Laser prides itself on being both affordable and offering top quality lasers to their clientele. This entire facility was extremely clean and the sign up process was simple. The receptionist greeted me with infused? water and the technician was highly skilled. She first shaved the existing hair off my entire back and shoulders and then used the Candela laser starting at the top of my neck, over both shoulders and down to my lower back. The whole process was quick and pain free, taking less than 15 minutes for the entire treatment. Aloe vera gel was then applied to my back to soothe my skin and I was on my way. And now, two weeks post treatment, there is no sign of "bacne' and my skin is healthy, smooth and hair-free. Since hair grows in cycles, I know that a few will again appear on my back, and should they give me problems, I'm happy to have Satori Laser as a resource.
Dental health is more important than you realize. Poor dental hygiene can lead to many physical problems such as bad breath and gum disease and more seriously, cardiovascular disease, dementia, diabetes and respiratory infections, among others. Recently, to help prevent some of these issues, and because I was overdue for a cleaning, I went to LuxDen located in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn for a dental appointment.
This dental practice of Dr. Umanoff has excellent reviews and their office is spacious and state of the art. He treats each one of his patients with the utmost kindness and respect. Everything this office does is for the patients convenience, comfort and well being. As a new patient, I was given a tour of what they can offer patients including an amazing 3D printer which only a select few offices in NYC currently have. The hygienist started with a digital mapping of my teeth followed by a thorough cleaning and polishing and finally, x-rays. Although I’m very diligent in my dental hygiene, I was relieved and happy that I had no cavities. Dr. Umanoff conferred with the hygienist, reviewed my x-rays and had me put on safety goggles while he used a UV light to check for oral cancer. This was a pain free experience and one that I’ll gladly do annually as a way to prevent more serious problems. I would highly recommend this office for any of your dental needs. Many thanks Dr. Umanoff and Lux Den!
LuxDen Dental Center 2579 East 17th Street, Suite #11 Brooklyn, NY 11235 (718)382-3444
Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis may know that I’ve been working on reducing the acne scars on face. Recently, I revisited Dr. Bradley S. Bloom MD at Skin and Lasers New York. Dr. Bloom is a board-certified dermatologist whose expertise is in laser treatments, Mohs micrographic surgery and cosmetic dermatology. The Excel V Laser treatment that Dr. Bloom chose for me is effective on all skin types. It uses a high-powered light with targeted pulses to repair skin conditions, including sunspots, rosacea, spider veins and acne scars. After just one treatment, I saw a noticeable difference in my skin. It not only looked more clear and bright afterwards, but the acne scars were smoother, too. This treatment took about 10 minutes there was no downtime and I scheduled a follow up appointment in August. We are lucky to have this technology available and you too, can achieve good results! Noticeable difference in my skin. It not only looked more clear and bright afterwards, but the acne scars were smoother, too. This treatment took about 10 minutes and there was no downtime. If you’re having similar skin problems, there’s an answer out there. Do a little research on the Excel V Laser or visit a dermatologist for a skin consultation. You can too achieve good results!
It might be TMI, but the excess hair on my back causes breakouts. So, to treat both problems at once, I recently had a laser hair removal service at Koru Wellness Aesthetics. Dr. Vivian Chin was very attentive to my concerns and she often uses a combination of treatments to provide her patients with the best results.
To begin my treatment, Dr. Chin shaved my back and shoulder areas and applied a gel to the entire area. Then, she rolled a Rohrer Aesthetics laser across the four quadrants of my back. The laser was set to an 810-DIODE, which features a larger spot laser area combined with a built-in cooling system. The treatment took approximately 45 minutes and, unlike other laser treatments in the past, this one was completely painless. After the treatment was finished, a repair balm was applied to the skin. And although it was temporarily red, my skin felt much smoother. Dr. Chin told me that in the following weeks I might see ingrown hairs show up on my back but so far I haven’t seen any.
Koru offers a variety of other laser and skin services and I’m confident that you will be as pleased with your results as I am. She offers both online appointment booking to make your scheduling easy and complimentary consultations. Thank you Dr. Chin and Koru Wellness Aesthetics!
Since I had already planned a trip to St. Helena, California, I took it upon myself to contact Health Spa Napa Valley on Main Street in St. Helena. Ashley Darling, the Marketing Director graciously offered two complimentary treatments that I gladly accepted. On a rainy chilly March day, I walked through the doors of the spa and entered a serene and inviting space. I was warmly greeted and offered citrus infused water.
My first treatment was a 50-minute performance massage with Michelle. This was both healing and rejuvenating. Since I spend a good part of my day networking on my cell phone and because of the tension in my neck the masseuse recommended ear pods to alleviate the stress of holding my phone up to my ear for many hours during the day. She also suggested that I detox for the rest of the day by drinking water and staying away from caffeine and alcohol, which is hard to do in wine country!
My next treatment was an 80-minute gentleman’s facial with Toni that included cleansing, toning, two exfoliating Eminence masks and a peel. This was followed by two Vitamin C serums, a moisturizer and sunscreen. The beauty of scheduling a service at Health Spa Napa Valley is that it also provides amazing amenities. These include, a hot tub, outdoor pool, fitness center and sauna. I also went home with a bag of complimentary skin care products. I can’t recommend this spa highly enough, its definitely one of the better ones I’ve been to in any city. Thank you Health Spa Napa Valley!
Recently, I had a wonderful opportunity to go on a trip with Eagle Rider. Eagle Rider is a luxury motorcycle tour company based in Southern California that offers both guided and unguided routes around scenic destinations in the United States. I was fortunate to enjoy the Blues Trail of Honor Guided Tour, a three-day trip that started in New Orleans and ended in Nashville. Never having been on a motorcycle before, Eagle Rider provided me with an experience rider on a Harley Davidson motorcycle and I rode on the back. I was also provided with all the necessary safety gear.
The first night of the trip started on Bourbon Street, which was amazing. In many ways, New Orleans reminded me of France. With the architecture, the cobblestone streets and the food, I didn't feel that I was in the states anymore. The second day we got up early drove through the mountains to arrive at Natchez, Mississippi. This town was really historic and reminded me of my upstate visits to Hudson, New York. It was located right on the Mississippi river and was brimming with true southern heritage. One of the highlights of this town was the scene of the infamous Natchez Burning. This was one of the deadliest fires in American history, which killed over 200 people. This fire inspired blues performers to record songs such as "The Natchez Burning and "The Mighty Fire".
The third day of the trip we traveled from Natchez to Clarksdale. Clarksdale is home of the famous Ground Zero Blues Club. This Morgan Freeman owned club was dripping in blues music history and even the walls were covered in music inspired graffiti. The entire town of Clarksdale was raw and untouched and reminded me of a movie set. The last day of the trip we drove from Clarksdale to Nashville, stopping in between these two cities to visit the Delta Blues Museum. Nashville was lively and was again rich in blues history. But, that afternoon marked the end of my trip so I’ll have to save a proper visit to Nashville for another time. This was a great first trip to the south, which I'll never forget. From the accommodations to the food to the memories, I highly recommend a trip organized by Eagle Rider!
For this past Valentines Day, I was happy to receive the February box, or "Melted Romance" box by Robb Vices. This is a subscription delivery box service sent to your door once a month filled with hand selected items. Robb Vices focus on products and experiences that will bring out the best in a persons life. And, as an added benefit to the subscription, the items that are included in each one of these boxes have a value that's more than the price of the actual subscription service itself.
In this "Melted Romance" box, I received a candle from D.L. & Co, Chocolate from Fixx's Chocolate, a ceramic fondue pot from Emile Henry and an Italian craft beer from La Birra Di Meni. My favorite product about this box was the beer, and it surprised me because I generally prefer wine over beer. La Birra Di Meni is a naturally double malted beer that is unpasteurized and refermented in the bottle. Visually, I really liked the amber color and it was crisp and refreshing. Including beer in a Valentines box, rather than the expected bottle of wine, is a great suggestion to someone who is new to the beer world or who doesn't usually prefer to drink beer. Combined with the candle and chocolate fondue, it also reinforces the focus Robb Vices puts on creating new experiences with their monthly subscription products. Cheers!