Monday, October 20, 2014

NEW YORK CITY: FIRST TIME EVER



BY JANET STEINBERG

Although I’ve been to New York City dozens of times…done dozens of things…taken dozens of tours…I called this my “First Time Ever” trip. This time was going to be different.  This time I would do things…and go places…I’ve never experienced before in The Big Apple.

GROUND ZERO MEMORIAL: Without a doubt, number one on my “First Time Ever” list had to be a visit to the Ground Zero Memorial.  I had been to Ground Zero shortly after 9/11/2001, when I tearfully tossed a white rose into a muddy hole in the ground. However, it was now time to see how the indomitable spirit of America had survived.

GROUND ZERO IN 2001

Monday, October 13, 2014

GOLDEN PRAGUE: CZECH IT OUT!



BY JANET STEINBERG



Zlata Praha (Golden Prague), the city of a hundred golden spires, is one of the prettiest cities in the world.  Divided by the Vltava (Moldau) River, Prague was fortunate not to have suffered destruction in World War II.

 
PRAGUE: THE CITY OF 100 SPIRES

Monday, September 29, 2014

SANTIAGO, CHILE: LIKE WINTERING IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

BY JANET STEINBERG
There are said to be only three places in the world with a Mediterranean climate: The actual Mediterranean coast…Catalina Island, California…and the coast of Chile around Santiago.  And, if you work it right, you could enjoy the best of The Med’s climate 12 months of the year.

During spring, summer, and fall, that glorious Mediterranean climate is yours for the asking on the Mediterranean coast or on Catalina Island.  However, when winter’s chilling blasts blow in, enjoying a Mediterranean climate takes a little more doing.

WELCOME TO  SANTIAGO

Monday, September 22, 2014

FT. LAUDERDALE: NEW FACES AND OLD TRADITIONS



BY JANET STEINBERG

I just returned from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where I had the pleasure of seeing four beautiful new faces in the city known as “The Venice of America”.


The first three faces were those of three beautiful babies.  Granted I am a bit prejudiced (they are my great-grandsons), but I just had to share them with you. Please allow me to introduce you to my twin great-grandsons 4-month old Asher and Ethan, and their one-month old cousin Abraham.

ETHAN, ABRAHAM, AND ASHER WITH GREAT-GRANNY JANET STEINBERG

The fourth beautiful face I saw in Ft. Lauderdale was the result of an extensive facelift.  No, it’s not what you might be thinking.  It was not on my Florida daughter’s face or on that of one of my granddaughters.  It was on the atrium area of my Ft. Lauderdale home-away-from-home…The Embassy Suites Ft. Lauderdale on 17th Street. 


OUT with the old.

IN with the new!  That is the hotel’s 21st century mantra.

OUT is the old, tired aqua and coral sea-shelled carpeting that lined the atrium halls. 

IN is carpeting with a chic magical meld of geometric stripes, and circles. 

OUT are the flowery carved suite numbers on Colonial-style doors.
IN are stunning grey and chrome suite numbers on sleek geometric doors, with door locks accessible through an app on your I-phone.
 

OUT are the yellow walls and the out-of-date flower boxes precariously perched on the atrium’s railings.

IN are soft ivory walls and a new sleek look upwards in the hotel’s atrium. 



COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST SERVED DAILY IN THE ATRIUM



All this overlooks a verdant waterfalled atrium and the breakfast area with tasteful cane furniture plus a community dining table. 


TROPICAL SETTING IN THE ATRIUM




OUTside of the hotel, adjacent to the bar, is a lush green area complete with colorful koi fish swimming around in their pool. 




KOI SWIM IN AN OUTDOOR POOL

Like the koi, guests have their own pool complete with waterfall, deck chairs, and fluffy towels…all complimentary. 


SWIMMING POOL AT EMBASSY SUITES FT. LAUDERDALE

Close to the airport and cruise terminal, Embassy Suites Ft. Lauderdale is one of the best buys in South Florida.  In addition to offering a 2-room suite, complete with microwave, refrigerator and 2 flat-screen televisions, the hotel also offers a complimentary Business Center and serves a daily complimentary cooked-to-order full breakfast and a complimentary nightly cocktail hour complete with a variety of snacks.



Other best buys are some of the unique offerings at the Seldom Seen Gallery on Las Olas Boulevard.  At the Harbor Shops, a two-minute walk from the hotel, you can stock up on treats from Publix and a myriad of other shops and restaurants.  One of my favorite restaurants in that shopping center is Gilbert’s, a family-run, reasonably priced restaurant with delicious homemade soups and food.


UNIQUE OFFERINGS FROM THE "SELDOM SEEN GALLERY" ON LAS OLAS BOULEVARD

Other old-time, affordable favorites (a short drive from Embassy Suites) are Ernie’s B-B-Q, a glimpse back into the Florida of bygone days, and Lester’s Diner (serving South Florida since 1967) where they bake the most incredible desserts right on the premises.
 

DESSERTS TO DIE FOR AT LESTER’S DINER


Another old tradition in Ft. Lauderdale is the Jungle Queen Riverboat that offers sightseeing and dinner cruises on the Intracoastal and the New River.  Let your imagination run wild as you create the scenarios that might be taking place in the waterfront mansions as you sail past them.


WATERFRONT MANSIONS AS SEEN FROM THE JUNGLE QUEEN RIVERBOAT




Everything old is new again in Ft. Lauderdale.  But, next time around, I will be seeing the city through the eyes of my three great-grandsons.


JANET STEINBERG is an award-winning Travel Writer, International Travel Consultantand winner of 40 national Travel Writing Awards.
 


Monday, September 15, 2014

CHILE: WORKING YOUR WAY FROM THE BOTTOM UP!



BY JANET STEINBERG


It Is the bottom of the world!  

For those of you who want to cruise around South America chances are, at some point, you will sail through the Strait of Magellan to Chile on the West Coast of South America. If so, you will be in Punta Arenas which is also a base for Antarctic expeditions.  What follows is  a preview of what your cruise might be from Punta Arenas, Chile to Valparaiso, Chile.  Relive with me my Silversea Silver Whisper journey as we sailed from the bottom of the earth up!

PUNTA ARENAS, CHILE:  Having sailed 535-nautical miles, from The Falklands through the Strait of Magellan, we arrived in Punta Arenas for a 2-day visit, including an overnight aboard the Silver Whisper.

Day one’s city tour was highlighted by a visit to the 1906 Braun-Menendez Mansion and a stroll through the meticulously manicured Sara Braun Municipal Cemetery featuring avenues lined with verdant wind-breaking cypress trees and splendid mausoleums.  A stop was also made at the Jose Nogueira Hotel for a treat of pisco sours and empanadas.


BRAUN-MENENDEZ MANSION