Vino and Polo

I wasn’t sure I could pull it off, but luck was on my side.  I was picking up one of our kids from summer camp in Long Beach, and decided to drive up the coast to Santa Barbara.  I convinced a friend there to find a sitter for a day and accompany me to Happy Canyon Vineyard to attend the Santa Ynez Polo Classic (see previous post on …

Happy Canyon Vineyard and Piocho Ranch

Every summer, we scour the hills around Santa Ynez searching for vineyards off the beaten “Sideways” track.  One area high on our list has been Happy Canyon, one of the newest and smallest AVA’s (American Viticulture Area) in California, located in the easternmost part of the Santa Ynez Valley.  While the Santa Ynez Valley is famous for its pinot noir wines, Happy Canyon has the warmest micro-climate in the …

Local Focus – Juice Core, A Micro Juicery

I obsess over many things, much to the chagrin of Hubby and the kids (just ask about my ballroom dancing kick). Over the past year, I have become a juice fanatic. I feel if I indulge in things like triple-cream brie, ossobuco Milanese, jalapeño cheeseburgers, and chiles poblano, that I both want and need to balance my diet with clean, fresh choices that leave my body feeling healthy. …

Mofongo and Chilis, and a little José Andrés

Beach vacations are all about hanging out in a hammock with a good book in one hand and a tropical rum drink in the other. But in Puerto Rico, I was torn…I had all these grand plans to explore the island (you know the rain forest and the colonial villages), but then I laid eyes on this little spot outside the Ritz-Carlton Reserve’s reception area…the Positivo Sand …

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Puerto Rico

On Puerto Rico’s north shore, just west of San Juan, lies Dorado Beach, a coastal stretch of rolling palm groves and white-sand beaches that is a thriving scene of resorts, golf courses and residential communities. Among the more touted, the Ritz-Carlton Reserve is a hideaway destination with a history for excellence and distinction in the Caribbean. In 1905, a Jamestown, New York physician, Alfred T. Livingston, visited Dorado and was …

Entertaining in the Desert Part Two

We kicked off March with a spring soirée at our home to celebrate a milestone anniversary.  The more I dug into the planning, the bigger the party grew, and next thing I knew I was sitting around a beautifully candlelit table with 30 of our closest friends toasting Hubby and the last 20 years of my life.  I felt it was fitting to “go big” …

Penguins, Glaciers y Más

I find it ironic that I am wrapping up writing about an action-packed trip while preparing to embark on a rum-soaked, beach bum voyage to Puerto Rico.  Before I switch gears to the hot, humid tropics, I’d like to relive some memories of the cool, crisp Patagonian air and a few the adventures we encountered. Magdalena Island Penguin Reserve Magdalena Island Penguin Reserve, an hour …

The Singular Patagonia

The Singular Patagonia hotel is located on the premises of the Puerto Bories Industrial Complex just outside the town of Puerto Natales, the “gateway” to Torres Del Paine National Park in southern Chile.  Opened in 1915, the Frigorifico Puerto Bories was an abattoir and cold storage facility that, at its peak, processed more than 250,000 sheep a year.  The British owners were the first to …

Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa

Before I move on to our tour through Chilean Patagonia, I would like to answer a few questions I have been asked about our hotel in the Atacama, the Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa.  Located in the Catarpe Valley on 7.5 acres, just two miles from the plaza of San Pedro de Atacama, the Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa appears to be nearly indistinguishable from its natural …

The Atacama Desert

In my previous post, La Comida de Chile (http://www.texaztaste.com/la-comida-de-chile/), I mentioned our visit to San Pedro de Atacama in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile.  Hubby and I backpacked through San Pedro in 1999, and had always envisioned returning with our children.  We live in a desert, so why would we want to go to one on vacation?  I think it is because the Atacama is …