Airport Lounge Review: American Express Centurion Lounge, JFK T4

Dan and I finally made our long anticipated visit to New York JFK’s American Express Centurion Lounge two weeks ago! We have been waiting for this lounge to open for over a year and honestly, I kept my Platinum Card just for this experience. We visited JFK’s Centurion Lounge on a Thursday morning around 8:00 AM, prior to boarding an 11:20 AM Emirates flight to Dubai. We wanted a place to respond to a few last minute work emails, drink some breakfast beverages, and eat a small breakfast. In short, the American Express Centurion Lounge in Terminal 4 did provide what we were looking for, but it was not as great as I imagined. And it was very crowded, even on a Thursday non-holiday weekend morning.  Here is our review; be prepared for crowds and waits as travel continues to pick up.

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Wine Tasting With My Parents In Charlottesville, VA!

Dan and I attended our friends Pryor’s and Bryan’s wedding earlier this month in Richmond, Virginia and, since my parents live in Virginia and I had not seen them alllll of quarantine, we met them for two fun-filled days of wine tasting in Charlottesville, Virginia before the wedding! While Dan and I have wine tasted all over the world, from Mendoza, to Stellenbosh, to Bordeaux, we had not spent a lot of time in Central Virginia, so we were pumped to try some VA wines, especially since I am from Central Viriginia!

Appropriate signage at Pollak Vineyards.

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Taste of the Marais: A Food Tour though the Marais with Paris by Mouth

I went to Paris last Summer (2016), but I never could bring myself to write about it. I love Paris so, so much and putting my trip into words seemed too daunting of a task (dramatic, I know!).  But, so many people I know are traveling to Paris in the near future and I really want my pictures readily available to everyone on the internet…so I finally decided to memorialize my trip!

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Ah, Paris! #swoon

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Brewery Spotlight: Jester King Brewery, Austin, Texas

Happy October (and, even though its not in October, happy belated Oktoberfest)! Since a lot of Americas think Oktoberfest is in October and Oktoberfest just ended (sadddd but I am so looking forward to 2018!!) I decided to do a post on – what else – beer!!

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Oktoberfest 2014…not Jester King!

Honestly, before I planned my trip to Austin, I had never even heard of the Jester King Brewery (well, maybe once). Seriously. I love beer, but I really had not made it into the Texas breweries. However, Dan had, and he really wanted to try to visit Jester King when we were around Austin. So, I decided that we had to make it happen!

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All Of The Food In Austin, Texas!

Dan and I spent a long week in and around Austin, Texas earlier this year for Dan’s cousin Claire’s wedding! It was my first time in Austin, and Dan’s first time back in years. So of course, we had to hit all of the food spots on our one totally free day in Austin! Also, the wedding was super fun and totally worth the trip!! Congratulations, Claire and Talor!

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South Congress Street. Austin, TX.

To start, Austin was awesome! We walked all over town and I really loved the small town feel of the city! We strolled though the State Capital grounds and shopped on South Congress Street, but the highlight was obviously the food and drinks! I had done some research in advance, and we had quite the itinerary when we started out Friday morning.

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The beautiful Texas state capital

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The Douro Valley – the BEST Day Trip From Porto!

For all my raving about Porto, Portugal, I may even love the Douro Valley more! Referred to generally as “the Douro,” the Douro Valley is a valley northern Portugal; yes, the one that borders the greater Porto area and the one in which the famous porto grapes, eventually make port wine, are grown. The Douro River (the same river that splits Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia) runs through the valley and its flanked with tiered vineyards and lots of greenery! In short, its one of the most stunning places that I have ever seen!

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The Douro (river and valley).

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A Douro Valley vineyard.

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The Ins and Outs of Traveling to Cuba from the US!

CUBA.  The mysterious Caribbean nation that Americans have been forbidden to visit for over half a century.  Cuba has long been on my travel bucket list and when President Obama eased travel restrictions on US citizens and direct flights resumed, I immediately booked a long weekend in Havana!  And, it was nothing short of magical!  Havana is truly stuck in the past.  My visit was interesting, thought provoking, and filled with meeting some of the nicest people that I have ever encountered abroad, but that will be the subject of another post.  This post is all about how to get you to and back from Cuba legally from the US right now!

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Beautiful Cuba!

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XL Airways France Review: JFK -> CDG

I recently flew XL Airways France from New York JFK to Paris CDG in Economy.  And since XL Airways is somewhat of an unknown airline in the U.S., I decided to review it, especially after all the negative reviews that I read on Yelp!

By way of background, I have been curious about XL Airways France for years, seriously.  XL Airways France is a French airline that flies between JFK and CDG, along with many other routes, and often offers cheaper prices than any other carrier (by hundreds of dollars).  I pulled the trigger and bought these tickets solely because of the price.

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Restaurant Review: Phoenicia Diner, Catskills, New York

A few weeks ago I spent a weekend in the Catskills Mountains.  Specifically, Phoenicia.  Phoenicia is a small town (technically a “hamlet”), about 20 minutes from Woodstock (the more well-known town in the area), in the Catskills Mountains.  The town is tiny, with one main road, surrounded by mountains with lots of hiking.  Phoenicia has recently received press by way of a few new business ventures opening in the sleepy town, including the Phoenecia Diner – which is probably the most popular place to eat in the area!  Vouge magazine mentioned it in a piece on travel in the Catskills Mountains a while ago, and it seems to be all the rage with the hipster crowd.

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