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Spain Day 5: Gran Canaria

It was a short flight from Tenerife to Gran Canaria and, this time, the welcoming sun greeted us. We took a quick bus to Las Palmas, the capital city and took a tour of the town; the houses were especially colorful with against the cerulean sky. I felt more like in a South American town than a European one. Our first stop was the house of Christopher Columbus, which gained fame as the house where Columbus stayed while one of his ships was repaired. The house is typical of the island, with large courtyards and wooden ceilings and balconies. The museum has maps of his journeys, replicas of the ships and even original correspondence. I thought it was interesting to see coming from Segovia (you can read why here.)   When I travel, markets are among my favorite stops as they really give a good idea about how the culture…

Spain Day 4: Tenerife

I woke up comfortably to a sunny morning in Tenerife, though it was still unseasonably cold due to an Artic blast from Canada. At least we weren't in the 20-degree New York weather. After a delicious breakfast at the Iberostar, the 7 of us piled into our mini bus and headed up to island to the Piramides de Guimar. On the site of the pyramids, there is a museum dedicated to Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian explorer who hypothesized that the pyramids in Giza are linked to the pyramids in Mexico and Central America. He theorized that both societies were able to reach each other by sailing across the Atlantic. The Canary Islands were used as a stopping point between the two destinations, thus the presence of the terrace style pyramids here. Using papyrus and traditional boat building methods dictated in the pharaoh's tombs, Heredahal successfully crossed the Atlantic, proving that…

Spain Day Three: Tenerife

Day three began before the crack of dawn. We drove an hour and a half back to Madrid to catch an early flight to Tenerife. I had never been to the Canary Islands, and had only done some light research. The Canary Islands are off the coast of southern Morocco, making them geographically more African than European. However, the people, food and wine make the islands distinctly Spanish. The Canary Islands are known for their forever spring weather, always sunny and 73 degrees. However, we were greeted with rain upon our arrival. Our super-handsome guide, immediately apologized for the bad weather; "it only rains here about 12 days a year." Just our luck! We were then transported to the Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey, the first city hotel by the resort chain. I've stayed in Iberostar Hotels before, and though this hotel is not all-inclusive, it screamed luxury. My room was…

Spain Day Two: Segovia

Day two brought us an hour away to La Granja, about 5km from Segovia. We spent the morning at a crystal factory and even got to watch students learn to make pitchers and vases. It was incredible to watch; I would have never guessed that putting the handle on was a two-person job (one person came with to the first with a rod of hot glass and attached it to the first.) We toured the factory and learned a bit about the history of crystal, different types and saw some impressive pieces. Did you know that glass can be recycled, but crystal cannot? Next, we toured the royal summer palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, an 18th century palace built by King Philip V. The building was modeled after Versailles and is also known for its' massive, manicured gardens. Philip V really did not want to be King and…

First Day in Spain- Avila

Today I arrived in Spain for the YTP (Young Travel Professional) Fam trip with Petrabax. Upon arrival, we boarded a bus and drove about an hour and a half to Avila, a 15th century medieval town.  We checked into our amazing hotel, the Paradores, which feels like it was build into the city wall. The hotel is beautiful and has a antique vibe, which fits perfectly within its' surrounding. My room has a beautiful view of the maze-like gardens, where I can imagine knights in shining armor riding through on their horses.  After checking in, we had an incredible and lengthy lunch at Puerta del Alcazar where we feasted on salad with soft cheese and lardon; patatas revolcolas, fried pork over mashed potatoes (that were mashed in pork!!!); and- as if that weren't enough- we were then each presented a giant juicy veal steak. The veal came with a sign telling…

New Neighborhood of the Week: Staten Island

Dave and I first started up with weekend day trips last year after realizing that in 8 years living in New York, there were so many neighborhoods we hadn't even heard of. This year's first "new neighborhood" is actually not a neighborhood at all, but a whole borough; Staten Island. Staten Island- the forgotten sibling of the 5 Borough family. When we do remember it, we tease it; nothing good is there. In theory. But nestled in this forgotten borough lies gens fit for a Chinese Emperor. We biked the beautiful East River bike path from our Williamsburg abode to the Staten Island Ferry. For tourists, this free ferry provides a unique way to see the city- and get a cool breeze, relieving you from the otherwise muggy air.   Staten Island is fabulous for biking. The perimeter of the island is lined with bike paths and the roads don't…
There are few products that I can really say are total game changers, but the travel flat iron from Thairpay 365 is one of them. Thairapy's line of flat irons is the first line that works to actually make your hair healthier while using. It eliminates damage from over processing and chemical treatments, reconstructs the hair follicles and works against breakage for softer, smoother hair that makes you feel like you just left the salon. Sleek, sexy, frizz free hair! And the best part? It heats up in 5 seconds! I came across Thairapy at Henri Bendel's and was in awe by the 6" mini flat iron. It is ½" wide and weighs less than 1lb. I wasn't in the market for a new iron, but once the salesperson passed it through my hair, I was hooked. The travel size is perfect and can even fit in your make up…

Sniffapalooza Spring Fling 2014

It's been almost 9 years that I've lived in New York City and it never ceases to amaze me how many different kinds of events happen here. I recently had the pleasure of attending the biannual event; Sniffapalooza. Sniffapalooza unites the fragrance industry and fragrance fanatics in a weekend-long fragrance frenzy! Our day started bright and early with breakfast at Bergdorf Goodman's café. The intimate setting allowed us to speak openly and learn more about the other guests. Sniffapalooza is not something that you go to by accident. During breakfast, reps from some of the best perfume houses spoke to us about upcoming launches. Fragrance and travel are two industries that are highly memory-based. Many fragrances are based on travels, experiences and even memories as simple as a good night kiss.   We were lucky enough to have acclaimed perfumer, Roja, come speak to us. Each of his scents has…

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