Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook

Adventures of a Carry-on travel blog

Categories Menu

Posted by on Dec 26, 2016 in Destinations, Italy, Postcards | 18 comments

Postcard: Polignano a Mare, Italy

Postcard: Polignano a Mare, Italy

  Polignano a Mare is a romantic seaside town built upon limestone bluffs. It is easy to see why it is known as The Pearl of the Adriatic — the water is a million shades of blue and green and the waves are crystal clear. Located in Puglia, on Italy’s southeastern coast, it’s an area mainly for tourism, good food and wine, and of course, fantastic beaches.  I fell in love with it immediately. I loved lying on the beach and soaking my feet in that cool clear water. I could have been happy to spend a week doing nothing else in Polignano a Mare. But what I liked best were the views of the Adriatic ocean. Priceless! Though it was only April, the weather was perfect and the beaches were almost deserted. Each day I soaked up the early spring sunshine as I walked to my favorite coffee bar – where I often stayed until evening apertivo hour.  La dolce far niente  (the sweetness of doing nothing) was...

Read More

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in California, Featured SLider, Postcards, USA, Wine Travel | 15 comments

Postcard: Sonoma Coast Sunset

Postcard: Sonoma Coast Sunset

A  stunning coastal drive that rivals Californa’s Highway 1 through Big Sur, the rugged Sonoma coast  has wide open beaches, dramatic drop-offs, and more beach access points than any other county in the state. In spite of being more accessible, it felt somewhat remote and untamed. There are places to camp, fish, surf, whale watch, hike, or simply just pick a beach and enjoy the scenery. Take a picnic and spend a day. The drive is about seventeen miles one way with plenty of places to pull over, stretch your legs, and take photographs. On the advice of a local I decided to take a drive to Bodega Bay one evening to watch the sunset. The drive itself was incredible – through redwood forest and the Russian River Valley, and then suddenly the coast road was in front of me and it seemed to go on forever. I felt like I was at the end of the earth. Perhaps it was the cloudy skies and the fog coming in;...

Read More

Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 in California, Destinations, Postcards, USA, Wine Travel | 6 comments

Postcard: Sonoma County Wine Country

Postcard: Sonoma County Wine Country

    Sonoma County is big and beautiful and rugged. It’s redwood forests, boutique hotels, and miles of breathtaking coastline. Located just an hour north of San Francisco, and west of Napa Valley, it feels a bit raw and undiscovered. That is part of its charm. Sonoma has a total land area of approximately 2,000 square miles, and 60,000 acres of vineyards. There are seventeen AVAs (American Viticulture Areas) and over sixty-six varietals are cultivated. Finally, there are over 400 wineries.  Whew! That’s a lot wine tasting. Narrow down your choices A smart way to explore Sonoma County is to pick an AVA or a town and start there. If you have two days, I’d recommend not straying far from where you are staying. There is excellent food and wine everywhere you go – Sonoma still maintains its strong agricultural roots. You can’t see all of Sonoma County in one weekend I visited the small town of Healdsburg (voted one of the most charming small towns in America by...

Read More

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Destinations, Italy, Postcards, Wine Travel | 14 comments

Postcard: Barolo Vineyards in Piemonte’s Langhe Region

Postcard: Barolo Vineyards in Piemonte’s Langhe Region

I am just back from Italy and my first visit to one of Italy’s most famous and important wine regions (no, not Tuscany): Piemonte (or Piedmont). The top-producing wine zones in Piemonte are in the Langhe, Roero, and Monferrato regions in central and southern Piemonte. You may have heard of them: in 2014, the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato countryside was included as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was also my first time to visit a vineyard during harvest season – now I understand what all the excitement is about! It’s a lot of work and must be done quickly. If the weather changes the harvest can be compromised. So there’s a lot of energy but also fun and comradery. Every place I visited was family owned and very old. For example, Marchesi di Barolo (which you’ll hear a lot more about later) has a history of 150 years. In all, I spent spent six days in the area – and only scratched the surface. There are over 2,000 wine...

Read More

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in California, Postcards, USA, Wine Travel | 19 comments

Off The Beaten Path in Paso Robles – California’s New Wine Country

Off The Beaten Path in Paso Robles – California’s New Wine Country

Paso Robles is California’s hottest new wine destination. With over 200 wineries and 30,000 acres under vine, Paso (as the locals refer to it) is the state’s largest geographic appellation. Located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles it’s an unusual destination that still feels a little bit off the beaten path. To get a sense of the history of the area and why it’s become a premier wine destination, take a tour of Calcareous Vineyards with Outback Trail Rides. Rolling hills are covered in tall grasses and huge oak trees: here at 1200 feet above the Salinas valley, you can imagine Paso Robles when it was mostly cattle ranches and almond farms. This is considered one of the best spots for scenic views in Paso Robles. Outback Trail Rides offers a tour of the vineyards via a traditional horse-drawn wagon, or on horseback. Calcareous is over 400 acres of what was once a 700 acre cattle ranch. Today about twenty-seven acres are planted with wine grapes. I opted...

Read More