Knoxville & Smoky Mountains: Great Escape and Journey Home

Though I am writing this on a Dominican Republic beach a couple of hours from Santo Domingo where I’ll return to work on Tuesday, I’m reliving the mountain escape I had while home for the holidays.  I’m sorry I missed the snow in Tennessee that arrived just after I flew back to the Caribbean on…

Perfect Gift: Italy All Year

Nine trips to Italy and I’ve just planned the next one.  This year I spent New Year’s Eve in Venice, my birthday in Tuscany (below), and Easter in Rome, but I’m asking Santa for an extended holiday in the land I love. Thanks to Chef Paulette‘s just-released book,  Italian Cooking Party, this tour will last for…

Pat’s Palo for a Front Row Seat to the Real Santo Domingo

Like I said, Santo Domingo takes salsa seriously from Sunday night dancing-in-the-street in the Old Town to Saturday night shaking-in-the-courtyard in the New City.  According to health experts and dance studios, such as Arthur Murray, salsa and merengue burn an average of 400 calories per hour.  Good to know for those who love the pulled…

Piantini Pleasures…Good Eats in Santo Domingo

We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.–David Mamet I am not a glutton.  I am an explorer of food.–Erma Bombeck Santo Domingo has surprised me with its wealth of food choices– from mega groceries full of imports to familiar chains and international cuisine.  While many coworkers have cooks…

Must Do in Marrakech: La Maison Arabe Cooking Class

La Maison Arabe Cooking Class Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.—Maya Angelou We are great believers that if you have peace, you have everything.    …

January in Marrakesh

  “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” –Percy Bysshe Shelley It’s January, and my Facebook feed is a flurry.  A snowstorm has hit the US–including my home in the south– leaving all covered in white.  Here temps have been in the 70s and climbed to the 80s this weekend.  The Atlas Mountains that…

Pepe Nero: A Place to Celebrate

When my niece, Emily, and her boyfriend, Andres, said they’d be visiting me in Marrakesh, I wanted a perfect place to take them for dinner our last night together. I sought somewhere signature Moroccan– mysterious, exotic, and beautiful. A place that practices hospitality and serves a mix of traditional and European delicious dishes. Pepe Nero,…

Peaceful Place Where Locals Gather

I spent a perfect Marrakesh afternoon recently with Brigitte, owner of Kosybar and Dar Beija, with Andrena, her longtime friend. Andrena and I were off from work for Moroccan Independence Day so we were thrilled to enjoy lunch in the sunshine. Later we walked it off through the  newly refurbished Jewish Quarter to Brigitte’s beautiful…

Sofitel Agadir Offers Solo Travelers Beauty and Bliss

  Recently  I stayed at 5-star Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea & Spa,  just named continental winner of  “Luxury Wedding Destination in Africa” by the 2015 Luxury Hotel Awards.  My time there was perfection.  Though I endorse travel for all, I especially encourage single women waiting for a prince to live happily-after-after to find your bliss now at places…