All in Travel

Food & Drink: Chef Cory Bahr's Ol' Smokey

Chef Cory Bahr's Ol' Smokey Bourbon Cocktail

Who doesn't love a great bourbon cocktail?  I can't think of many a true Southern Lady or Gent who can truthfully answer "no" to that question.  I know that I personally, am a die hard fan of this Old Fashioned variation in particular.  

The Ol' Smokey was created by Chef Cory Bahr, owner of Restaurant Cotton and Nonna in Monroe, Louisiana, as a tribute to his grandfather and childhood memories of the good times they shared at the family's hunting camp.  Chef Bahr reminisces about evenings spent there, the smell of smoke from the wood fire and the smell of whiskey as he would keep the glasses full. He lovingly refers to it as "my childhood in a glass".

Quotes: The Wanderess by Roman Payne

This is a quote by Roman Payne, a young American Expat living in France, and very successful author of The Wandress, a novel that is described as "a love story, a novel of heroism, friendship and romance, portraying the lives of two unsettled vagabonds led by their own strange desires, mutual obsessions and one single fortune".  

Roman Payne is widely credited in most dictionaries as having been the creator of the word Wandress.  The Urban Dictionary shows the following definition: A female wanderer; a goddess of the earth; a female looking for adventure and new experiences, places, and people; a free spirited woman getting lost to find herself; the most magical kind of female. 

Home Style: 6 Clever ways to Display and Enjoy your Travel Treasures!

I have been a collector of all types of travel trinkets since I was a very small child.  Each summer, my family would travel to the beach and I would spend hours collecting shells and shark's teeth to add to my shoe box of treasures packed away in my closet.  

Although my tastes have changed considerably, I still surround myself with treasures collected near and far.  Each time I walk into my home, I am immediately taken back to each and every grand adventure.  

The Written Word: My Travel Journal from Spain

I always have the very best of intentions when it comes to travel journaling.  I bought a lovely little journal, complete with a new Monte Verde pen (did I mention that I am a pen freak) and pledged to write of my adventure every single day.  

On this particular trip, I did great for the first three days, then I got so swept up and just plain worn out, that I couldn't manage to pick up a pen to save myself.  I wanted to share with you here those first three days from my travel journal.  Enthusiasm for my writing abounded before I got so completely wrapped up in the experience.

Quotes: I am not the Mary Anne Radmacher

It is no surprise, with my love of travel and exploring the world, that this is one of my favorite quotes.  Mary Anne Radmacher is the author of many motivational books, inspirational quotes, a fantastic artist and creates stunning calligraphy.  

Although I was born and raised in the South and continue to live here today, I have had the honor and the privilege of living and working all over the country and abroad.  I have also been blessed to travel this great world of ours for pure pleasure and it is through all these endeavors that I find myself continually drawn to the words of Mary Anne.

Weekending: The Prater's Mill Country Fair 2016

Yesterday, I went with a friend to The Prater's Mill Country Fair, an event that has taken place every year for the past 45 years.  Happy anniversary Prater's, you have brought me many memories and will always hold a special place in my heart!

I used to go twice a year with my mother and grandmother, way back when.  A walk through the fair is truly a step back in time.  In addition to the very talented artisan vendors and their wares, the fair provides an opportunity for history lessons, live music and unrivaled Southern food.  

Wanderlust: Travel is the Only thing you Buy that Makes you Richer!

I have always wanted to travel...just throw a dart at the map and hop the next plane to paradise.  I had a lifelong dream of a trip to Spain and I finally fulfilled that dream this year.  My obsession with Spain started when I was child, enamored with all things Flamenco and I dreamed of being serenaded by a handsome man while dancing in the cobblestone streets, intoxicated by the smell of bougainvillea.  I was worried that I had created this magical place in my dreams that could not possibly exist in reality. 

I must say that I was not disappointed, rather I WAS that beautiful woman, being serenaded by a handsome man at the El Patio Sevillano, while drinking Cava on my birthday.  It was stunning and yes, I cried.  I was overwhelmed by the haunting beauty of the music, the lyrical movement of the dancers and the love story they told through song and dance, even though I didn't understand a single word. It is like don' have to understand the words to understand the story.  

Wanderlust: A Sunday Evening in Madrid

Elayne and I had spent a few hours touring the Prado Museum, when we decided to walk to the Hard Rock Cafe (and it was, as with most spur of the moment decisions, a very bad idea). That said, we located a map, perched on a street corner and attempted to discern which direction we needed to proceed.  Once we had agreed on a general direction, we set out in the heat of the day on a mission.  

The temperature hovered around 105 degrees Fahrenheit, the sun relentlessly bore down upon us and I felt like we were stuck on a concrete treadmill.  After several iterations of "It HAS to be just up there!", we actually spotted the sign, sprinted (um, drug ourselves) and arrived breathlessly at our destination.

Wanderlust: Na'ay Spa at the El Dorado Seaside Suites - The Pre-Hispanic Mystical Experience

This was my 15th trip to Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the Yucatan Peninsula, but my first experience with the El Dorado Seaside Suites, a Karisma Resort (which I would highly, highly recommend, by the way).  Viola and I had been doing some serious jungle trekking and ruin exploration and decided that our poor, tired muscles would benefit from a little relaxation.  We signed up for the Pre-Hispanic Mystical Experience, preceded by the Water Journey...we didn't know it at the time, but we were in for the experience of a lifetime!

Our concierge golfcart driver picked us up right outside our room and we were off, down the palm tree-lined paths, through the beautiful gardens, past the 5-star restaurants and we arrived at the gorgeous Na'ay Spa.  We were greeted by our personal spa consultant (a quite handsome young fellow) who graciously showed us in, and started us on our journey.