Travel


Summer Days In Chamonix


While Chamonix is one of France’s most historic and well-known ski resorts (it was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924), visiting in the summer did not disappoint. Wild flowers grew in every direction and majestic blue mountains circled the town, as if trying to shelter this place from the outside world. We were there for a very short weekend trip but managed to squeeze in a fair amount of adventure and relaxation.

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Annecy, France

From the grape-heavy vineyards of Burgundy to the caves and castles of the Dordogne Valley, France reveals her beauty with every turn of the compass. Last summer I spent a week in the charming city of Annecy, located in France’s Haute Savoie region (near the French-Swiss border.) This area is famous for its cheeses, which are slow-melted into fondues and raclettes in many of the local restaurants. Annecy is situated on a large, turquoise lake (the cleanest in France!) which makes it a popular tourist attraction for Frenchies leaving on vacay for the weekend. It’s also latticed with charming canals, hence it’s pseudo-name, “Venice of the Alps.” I wrote about my experience on The Hideaway Report and included some of my favorite restaurants and things to do should you find yourself in this picturesque Alpine hideaway.

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Audrey Hepburn’s Swiss Village


My love of Audrey Hepburn dates back to early childhood. Like so many, I am drawn to her iconic movies and unforgettable performances, not to mention her grace and goodwill off camera. To this day, curling up on the couch and watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sabrina, or Roman Holiday never fails to brighten my spirits.

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Castello di Sinio

Last summer, I planned a spontaneous trip to Italy’s Langhe Valley. While there, I serendipitously stumbled upon a special property called Castello di Sinio. By the end of my visit, I left not only grateful for the experience but plotting a plan for my return.

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Salzburg, Austria

Photo: Eric Chumachenco via Flickr

Salzburg has secured a permanent spot on my list of favorite places. The UNESCO-protected city is located fewer than 100 miles from Munich, yet it feels much more removed to me, like a fairytale village untouched by the modern age. Surrounding Salzburg, snow-peaked purple mountains rise above the rooftops, old clock towers, and patinaed church domes. History pervades this special city, as evidenced by the famed Baroque architecture and the enduring sound of classical music gifted to Salzburg by its most famous son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Indeed, the sounds of music are everywhere here. Mozart aside, the Academy Award winning musical drama, The Sound of Music, helped solidify Salzburg as a city with a momentous musical legacy. Filming for the movie, which was based on the lives of the real Captain and Maria von Trapp, was shot in and around Salzburg. Should you find yourself in the city, don’t miss the popular Sound of Music Tour for its little-known trivia and glimpses into some of the film’s original shooting locations, including the manicured Mirabell Gardens, the Hellbrunn Palace, and the Nonnberg Abbey, the latter of which is the oldest of its kind in Europe. The tour also ventures to the lake district, with stops at the Basilica in Mondsee and the charming town of St. Gilgen.

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My Favorite Paris Museums (So Far)

Visiting Paris never fails to awaken in me a school girl-like excitement. Every time I visit, I feel like a younger version of myself, eager to learn and absorb the day’s lessons. The feeling is akin to being on a big, cultural field trip. Over the years, I’ve worked my way around the city, popping into museums, and curating my own list of favorites along the way. I thought I’d share a few on my list — four that I return to time and again when I find myself in the inimitable city of light. As you’ll see, most are small in size and intimate in nature; quiet spaces that summon a sense of reflection and inner dialogue. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

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Isla Holbox, Mexico

Traveling to Isla Holbox (pronounced hol-bosh) felt like going back in time. Our journey began in Merida, where we drove roughly 200 miles to the tiny, coastal town of Chiquila (~ 2.5 hours from Cancun.) From Chiquila, we boarded a ferry for a quick half-hour cruise to the island. Cars are obsolete on Holbox so we left ours behind under a shaded lot (locals rent these spaces out for under $10 a day.) I knew very little about the island prior to traveling there and for this reason my expectations weren’t high. In hindsight this naivety was a gift. Isn’t it wonderful to be pleasantly surprised, if not fall in love when you least expect to?

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