“Have you been on a airplane yet”? That seems to be one of the most common questions amongst coworkers, friends and family lately. I was talking about some work travel I have coming up and my sister in law was quick to mention that it has been a YEAR since she has flown anywhere. For most people, that is the norm nowadays. I recently had a job back east and have to admit I was very hesitant to fly at first. (Hence the 2 week cross country “adventure” I dragged my family through this summer because I didn’t want to fly with my children).
Whiteface Lodge is the most beautiful property located in Adirondack Park, about a 5hr drive from NYC. I haven’t been to this area in years but I do have fond memories of visiting Lake Placid and Olympic Village when I was a kid. For years I have been hearing about a spectacular lodge located in upstate NY and it’s been on my bucket list to stay here for quite some time. I finally made it and no picture can do this lodge justice or capture its beauty. It is truly a serene getaway where there is something for everyone. Whether you are a nature lover or more inclined to head to the Spa, Whiteface Lodge is a place you must visit. The resort offers every activity imaginable including bowling, a movie theater, ice-skating, wellness classes, a full service spa and delicious restaurants (just to name a few).
Have I mentioned how much I LOVE a good ole’ fashion road trip!? Yup, I sure do! It all started way back when my parents, brother and I traveled across the country in our conversion van back in my teenage days. This is around the same time my love for Elvis grew…(we stopped at Graceland and it was love at first sight).
Last summer, my parents, my kids and I went on a 2-week road trip from NYC to the south east states and back up. This past summer, Sasha and I traveled the California coast stopping at beautiful beach towns as we made our way from LA to SF. So you must be thinking, what do I love about a road trip? Well, it’s just simple. No need to fly, no TSA lines, no dirty airplanes and you really get to see the country at a leisurely pace. You can stop when you want to stop or drive all night long! It’s truly an amazing way to explore and discover parts of the country you never thought you would see. Bottom line, you are on your own agenda! I also love that all of my belongings are in the back of the car and easy to access (I can go on and on).
Fall is upon us and I decided (after my Mom promised to watch my kids for 3 days) that a girls (road trip in the great state of New York was a must! The weather is still awesome and the leaves are just starting to fade so I got out my trusty atlas and started to map out our latest adventure.
We decided that our our end destination would be to Niagara Falls! I had been as a kid and didn’t remember it but thought it would be fun to travel up to see nature at its finest and cross the border to check out Canada! We had heard that the Canadian side of Niagara was much nicer than the American side (can’t argue…it’s true).
Woodstock was an easy first stop for us as it’s only a few hours outside of the city and their is so much to check out. The town is obviously known for its namesake music festival and has awesome food, shops and art galleries. Did you all know that the actual concert didn’t occur in Woodstock?! It actually took place in Bethel, NY! Apparently the festival was so large that they had to change location last minute to accommodate so many people. Woodstock was the perfect place to stop: I came, I saw, I bought a Woodstock T-shirt, got some great photos and had the yummiest iced coffee and pastries from a local cafe. After our coffees, it was time to hit the road again!
The first night on our 3-day trip was reserved for Glamping… yes, glamping. Well folks , if you followed my IG stories, you would know how that turned out…HORRIBLE! Bugs, Bugs and more bugs for days. The site was called “The Collective Retreat” in Ghent, NY. It was supposed to be one of the chicest places to glamp but OMG, talk about false advertising. Yes my friends, I paid for my stay so I am writing a review because it was one of the worst hotel/glamping experiences of my life. I had glamped two times before in Kentucky at Paris Landing and while filming RHONY at Paws Up in Montana. Both of these locations were luxury at its finest with great overall accommodations. “Glamping” is pretty self explanatory… it’s glamorous camping!
Well, The Collective Retreat in Ghent was basically CAMPING with a bed and nice sheets. Not quite sure how this location has received good reviews because it is the furthest thing from glamping. Yes I expect to see bugs outside, no I’m not afraid of them but when they are crawling on the bed and into my luggage, I’m out! There were bugs on the ceiling (including a tarantula), bugs on the floor, bugs in my suitcase, bugs in the bathroom and a mouse outside my tent. EWWWW, I tried my best but I HAD to leave. Long story made very short, I had planned and researched my trip to a T and was so disappointed by this location.
It got awesome reviews, but after reading the fine print, I realized the reviews from Vogue and Goop were for based on their other properties… Ha, tricky! (Note to self…read the fine print!) Soooo at 8pm at night, I couldn’t handle it so I reloaded the car and hit the road with nowhere to go. All I knew was that Sasha and I wanted to get as far away from the camp site as possible. We ended up in a lovely hotel in Albany (thank goodness for Expedia).
After a yummy breakfast and a much needed coffee, we were back on the road in search of the TEE PEE, souvenir shop randomly located on highway 90. This is truly Americana at its finest! A cool family owned souvenir shop that has been a roadside attraction since the 50’s. Sasha and I had a blast roaming the store and trying on clothing, hats and shoes! I ended up getting a bow and arrow for the kids as well as a beautiful dream catcher. 🙂
We moved along through some fun covered bridges, lots of cows, pumpkin patched and stopped at a corn maze before heading to the border. Canada here we come!
The border was super easy to drive through (much easier than flying and customs)! LOL TSA has nothing on this quick passport check. The Canadian side of Niagara is the place to be with all of its tourist attractions, casinos, museums and shows! We arrived at our hotel, had a quick steak dinner with some much needed Sauvignon Blanc and we we headed to “The Conga” show. LOL Maybe it was because we were in the car for so long or maybe we had once glass too many at dinner but we LOVED the show. It was such a blast and I really felt like we were in Vegas. Our first night in Canada was so much fun, filled with dinner, drinks, shows, bars and a bit of gambling. I love Niagara!!!
The next morning (yes we were a bit sluggish but coffee did the trick) we set off on a tour that we booked through our hotel! One travel tip for you…BOOK YOUR TOUR THROUGH THE HOTEL! They are so much less expensive and much easier to maneuver. That’s why hotels have concierge services after all! Sasha and I had searched and searched for a tour through various websites but just couldn’t come up with anything. Some of the tours were 9+ hours long and I was definitely not into that. Our tour ended up being about 4 hours; short and sweet with a full view of Niagara. We went behind the falls, stopped at a few monumental locations and then headed on the Hornblower (the boat that takes you into the falls). I found Niagara to be an awesome place for a weekend getaway and a fun spot for families to visit. There is really so much to do and see in Niagara. I am so happy I had the chance to go back! Bucket list, check and check!
After enjoying the waterfalls, it was time to grab a quick bite and get back on the road! Overall it was such a fun trip (minus the glamping). For full outfit details see below:
Whether you are dining at a bar, bistro, café or brasserie, France is known for its culinary perfection. In the city of Paris, there are more than 70 restaurants ranked with Michelin Stars, each with its’ own unique style and taste. It is not uncommon to plan your trip to Paris around a restaurant reservation, as some have a very lengthy wait list. Whether you are eating breakfast, lunch or dinner, Paris is known as the city of love and a huge part of “the love” is enjoying the cuisine and satisfying your stomach with Parisian delicacies. Make sure to check out my article on Dot Luxury! It’s all about the most established restaurants in Paris! Click (HERE).
Napa is one of those charming destinations that you often read about or see in movies while saying to yourself, “ugh, I want to go there one day”. Am I right?!? It’s one of those magical places that is on many peoples bucket list (including my own).
Well, a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit wine country with a girlfriend and it was everything I had hoped for and more! I love a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and am definitely a creature of habit. I know what I like and I tend to stick with it so I was really looking forward to broadening my horizons and learning a thing or two about vino while on my trip.
Summer time is the perfect time of year to appreciate the outdoors while resting, recharging and rebooting! I recently read an article about road trips and how they are “on their way out” but I’m here to tell you that they are still better than ever! Whoever wrote the article clearly has not been on one of my road trips! Last summer, my kids, my parents and I drove from Connecticut down to Tennessee and back up north stopping all along the way. This summer, I decided to change things up a bit and hit the west coast.
My in-laws live in LA and my family and I usually spend some time visiting them during the summer. My kids needed some quality time with their grandparents so they stayed in LA while a girlfriend and I jumped in a rental car and hit the California coast.
My 1st stop was going to be San Francisco but after doing a bit more research, I decided on staying in a beautiful, picturesque town just outside of San Francisco called Tiburon. My husband grew up in the bay area and I had spent enough time in San Francisco to appreciate its’ surroundings so I decided to explore the area and stay outside the city.
After researching towns outside of San Francisco, I decided to stay in Tiburon, a quaint little town located about 20 minutes by ferry (or car) outside of San Francisco. The town of Tiburon is beautiful and filled with tons of fantastic restaurants, bars and fabulous boutique shopping. All of this is located right on the shores of the San Francisco bay, which overlook the city skyline. I had heard incredible things about The Waters Edge Hotel so we decided to stay there. This is THE PLACE to stay in Tiburon! The service at the hotel is impeccable, the rooms are oversized and pristine and they have incredible views of the bay. The hotel is located right on the coast so you honestly can’t beat the view! We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right?!? Well, The Waters Edge Hotel treats you to a complimentary breakfast in bed daily! Ahhh, a dream come true! Talk about starting your day off right!
I had never thought about having a bucket list. I often say, “If I had a bucket list I would…” Well, I think I am just about ready to admit that I actually do have a bucket list and may have always had one. Slowly but surely, I am making my way down the “nonexistent” bucket list and I recently just checked off something I had wanted to do for many years…visit the beautiful Palace of Versailles! Read about my incredible experience as well as my travel tips on Dot Luxury!