Friday, October 30, 2015

Travel Quote of the Day

“Adventure, yeah. I guess that’s what you call it when everybody comes back alive.”
Mercedes Lackey

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

San Diego Press Club 42nd Annual Excellence in Journalism Awards

A night of 'firsts'

~ My first Excellence in Journalism Awards night
~ A first place award for me and the NBC team

Category: Television, News Feature Same Day

#travel #travelaward #journalism #travelingcynthia #sandiegopressclub

Friday, October 23, 2015

Switzerland - Latest News

Switzerland Tourism announced the Grand Tour of Switzerland, a 1,000 mile journey throughout the country using great roads and the public transportation system (train, bus and boat) -- every mile a scenic one.
Photo by Cynthia Dial
Along the way you will encounter four different languages and cultural areas, 37 major tourist attractions and 10 UNESCO World Heritage Site.  From four days to 30 days, the experience is up to you.

#myswitzerland #travel #traveltips #travelingcynthia

Hurricane Patricia - Puerto Vallarta - Manzanillo - Airports Closed


MEXICO CITY, Mexico - Hurricane Patricia strengthened into one of the most powerful storms in history on Friday as it barreled toward Mexico's Pacific Coast, forcing resort hotels to evacuate tourists and residents to stockpile supplies.
Photo by Cynthia Dial

The states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero are in Patricia’s path. Mexican authorities declared a state of emergency and all flights to and from popular tourist resorts Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo were suspended and the cities' airports closed. The major cargo port of Manzanillo was also shut.

Hotel workers in Puerto Vallarta said efforts had begun to start evacuating guests, but others said they were still waiting to be told where to send them. 15,000 people are expected to be evacuated from Puerto Vallarta.

Hurricane Patricia is expected to make landfall on Friday afternoon or early evening.
President Enrique Peña Nieto warned that the nation has never seen a hurricane this strong and promised special measures to provide protection.

#travel #travelnews #traveltips #travelingcynthia #hurricanepatricia #mexico #puertovallarta #manzanillo

Santa Fe, New Mexico: The City of Turquoise is a Burgeoning Haven for Art Lovers

By Cynthia Dial for
I am no novice to Santa Fe, having visited multi times over many years, yet I remain impressed at its eternal exclusivity. Long ago my attendance at Sunday mass in its downtown Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi revealed an usher, simply collecting donations this day, but best known as 60s heartthrob, Tab Hunter. Most recently, the last evening of my last visit provided yet another treasured memory – an intimate, tented and chandelier-adorned tailgate dinner preceding a performance of the Santa Fe Opera. The crowning jewel of this crystal-stemware, sterling-silver type of affair was its tableside preparation by James Beard award-winner, Todd Hall, executive chef of Julia, La Posada’s signature restaurant.
 Photo by Cynthia Dial 
Not every trip to New Mexico’s capital city is punctuated by star sightings, but any visit can mean mornings with Native American artisans selling their wares, afternoons spent gallery hopping along Canyon Road and evenings enjoyed over meals in James Beard-recognized restaurants. Santa Fe is a don-your-turquoise-and-silver and kick-around-in-your-cowboy-boots kind of town – sophisticated, yet laid-back. It’s these distinguished attributes that provide countless reasons to visit, all are determined by taste and choice – yours.

Photo by Cynthia Dial 
A little backstory. The city is older than the U.S. itself – when the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, Santa Fe had its own governor. A product of Spanish heritage, Native American roots and Old West ways, Santa Fe has a rich and distinctive narrative, one like no other. At an elevation of 7,000 feet (nearly a half mile higher than the nation’s mile-high city, Denver), it enjoys more than 300 days of annual sunshine and four distinct seasons. Reflective of its forever edict, no building taller than four stories, and its adobe-style architecture, it remains a world-class city with a small-town vibe.

Photo by Cynthia Dial 
With such historical beginnings, the best place to begin exploration of the nation’s oldest capital is La Posada de Santa Fe Resort and Spa. Built in 1882 as the Territory’s largest home, the Staab Mansion quickly became the hub of entertainment with Julia Staab at the helm. Considered the unofficial hostess of New Mexico, her guest list overflowed with the region’s “who’s who” of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Surrounded by casitas (now rooms) originally built for traveling artists, La Posada is also known as the Art Hotel of New Mexico. It earned the moniker because of its long ago display and sale of original art, including the work of Georgia O’Keeffe. Though this was two decades before Santa Fe’s galleries began to flourish, this tradition continues today. It is under the guidance of noted art curator Sara Eyestone that artists display exclusively at La Posada, which also hosts a weekly Friday afternoon art reception and chef’s tasting.

Photo by Cynthia Dial 
A compact and walkable town, Santa Fe is easy to explore so let’s start at its heart – the Plaza. Noted as a National Register of Historic Places, the city’s 400-year-old central park and home to a classic bandstand and the American Indian War Memorial monument is the perennial gathering spot of tourists and locals. It hosts such seasonal events as August’s internationally-renowned Indian Market and is decked out each Christmas with thousands of glittering lights and farolitos. Palace of the Governors was constructed in the 17th century as Spain’s seat of government. Beneath its portal Native Americans sell their own tribe’s authentic handicrafts, all made from traditional materials (no fake turquoise will be found here) – from jewelry to pottery to kachina dolls – every day of the year. It’s worth noting that these items are tax exempt, but “thinking about” a purchase may mean losing out as artists appear on a rotating basis.

Photo by Cynthia Dial 
Overflowing with galleries and museums, there’s no shortage for the art lover. Every creative foray should begin at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the short movie on the artisan’s life, followed by a stroll amongst her creations. It’s said that Canyon Road is to art what Rodeo Drive is to fashion. Located a short walk from downtown, the noted street is dotted with one gallery after another. McLarry Fine Art and its sculpture garden showcase the work of celebrated Southwestern artists, while Morning Star Gallery displays museum quality antiques from more than 50 Native American tribes. On Museum Hill you’ll find four additional art centers, plus The Botanical Garden.

Photo by Cynthia Dial 
Shopping is distinctive in Santa Fe. It has its own look, its own flair. Whether your quest is for handcrafted jewelry, custom cowboy boots or an antler-enhanced chandelier, it can be found here and it is top quality. Ortega’s on the Plaza is known for its custom-designed jewelry by the world’s top artists, including Don Lucas and Federico. Though at first glance it appears a museum, Andrea Fisher Fine Pottery sells a large selection of American Indian pottery, including San Ildefonso Pueblo’s distinctive black-on-black earthenware by Maria Martinez, known as the “Picasso of Southwest pottery.”

Photo by Cynthia Dial 
So creative is its preparation that Santa Fe’s food scene is described “appetizing art.” With its title as the birthplace of Southwestern cuisine, its love affair with chiles (red or green is the perpetual query) and more than 200 restaurants to showcase its edible imagination, Santa Fe has a collection of top chefs and a remarkable line-up of eateries.

Photo by Cynthia Dial 
Located in an 1835 adobe and a former stagecoach stop, El Farol, the city’s oldest restaurant, is known for flamenco entertainment. Eight-time James Beard award nominee, James Campbell Caruso, is chef-owner of La Boca, a lively tapas restaurant and wine bar. Noted as Santa Fe’s first fine dining restaurant, The Compound features the seasonal contemporary American menu of Mark Kiffin (James Beard-named “Best Chef of the Southwest”), with such popular inclusions as stone crab polenta and olive oil ice cream. Frito pie, a different but authentic treat, is found at the back-of-the-store food counter of the Plaza’s Five& Dime (formerly Woolworth’s, where it’s claimed to have been invented). A regional treat, it’s an open bag of chips topped with chili and cheese. For hands-on but delicious encounters with the town’s touted dining arena, Santa Fe School of Cooking serves up classes and restaurant walking tours. 
 Photo by Cynthia Dial 
This small town has a full calendar; but among such offerings as the Chamber Music Festival, Independent Film Festival and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, it is best known for the Santa Fe Opera (established 1957). Called the all-star game of the music world and set in a dramatic, open-air theater on a 100-acre backdrop, this is the hottest ticket in the coolest of towns.

Photo by Cynthia Dial 

Beyond Santa Fe’s distinguished culture and cuisine are equally unique activities. The state’s 19 pueblos give a peek into the Native American lifestyle, with Taos Pueblo one of the grandest. Nearby Los Alamos is known for the Manhattan Project, which created the atomic bomb. Its Bradbury Science Museum documents the highly sensitive and secretive World War II mission.  Bandelier National Monument has some of the area’s finest hiking, especially in its little known Tsankawi section, which I discovered only with assistance from Monique, hiking guide/owner of Great Southwest Adventures. This trail running atop a mesa has Native American cliff dwellings, petroglyphs and vantage views that are so rich in history its signage reads: “Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but tracks.”

#travel #traveltips #travelingcynthia #travelpics #santafe #newmexico

Thursday, October 22, 2015

More Israel - Tel Aviv - Jaffa

From the impressive Tel Aviv Art Museum to the city's graffiti decorated streets to its bustling markets, energetic Tel Aviv - Jaffa serves up a completely different experience compared to the traditional vibe of the ancient city of Jerusalem. Two different cities, two different Israels - but both safe.
#visitisrael #travel #traveltips #travelpics #travelingcynthia

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Israel - Tel Aviv - Jaffa

The day began in Jerusalem and ended in Tel Aviv. An early morning visit to the City of David revealed great views and a greater history, starring the who's who of the Bible. While Tel Aviv included Israel's 'second' best hummus, Tel Aviv's highrise littered shoreline, Jaffa and more.  #visitisrael @goisrael @israeltourism #travel #travelpics #traveltips #travelingcynthia 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Israel - Judaean Desert

Descending from Jerusalem toward the Judaean Desert brings you to a region of countless possibilities . . . jeep tours, Masada, the Dead Sea and more. #travel #goisrael #traveltips #travelingcynthia

Friday, October 16, 2015

Israel - Jerusalem

Jerusalem, a city of many contrasts and diversity of religions, is best shared through photography. 
#visitisrael #GoIsrael #IsraelTourism #travel #travelpics #travelingcynthia

Israel - A Country of Contrasts

From the shores of Haifa to the Sea of Galilee to the ancient city of Caesarea, this is a mere peek of this multi-faceted country.
#visitisrael @GoIsrael @IsraelTourism #travel #travelpics #travelingcynthia

Monday, October 12, 2015

Canada's Rockies

JFrom Banff to Lake Louise to Calgary, Canada's Rocky Mountain region is one of beauty and adventure.
#travel #traveltips #travelpics #travelingcynthia #banff #lakelouise #calgary #canada