Category Archives: Travel

Eating Ethnic: Embrace the Journey.

You know it’s good when you are the only one who doesn’t speak the language.

Growing up, I thought I knew what good Chinese was: always-reliable hot-and-sour soup, fried-then-sauced sesame chicken, thin pancakes stuffed with pork and rolled into burritos. It was Americanized MSG at it’s very best, and a staple in the Baker family dining rotation.

But one faithful night in college, a friend (whose Mother was Chinese) invited me to his favorite Cantonese restaurant. And it forever changed the way I viewed ethnic food. Continue reading


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“Did you try to hit that shot Tiger hit there?” Plus more reasons why golf is awesome at Pebble Beach.

It's National Golf Day. A tribute to America's most famous track.

Sports are fun because they not only give you the thrill of competition but typically take place in a charismatic setting.  Which is why taking in a Duke basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium or seeing the Red Sox at Fenway is such a special experience. For golf, the bar is raised because you are the one playing on the grand stage. Competition is enjoyable, but so is the backdrop.  And while the common man can only dream of strolling the fairways of Augusta National, anyone can tee it up at the course that truly defines American golf, Pebble Beach Golf Links.

It’s the place where Bobby Jones teed it up in the height of his competitive reign as the greatest golfer in the world. It’s where Bing Crosby hosted the likes of Ben Hogan and Frank Sinatra, as apart of his yearly Clambake. It’s where Tiger Woods Continue reading

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Simple Skiing: Alta, UT

Go retro: Alta.

Not that I don’t enjoy vibrant ski towns that are part sport, part social — Park City and it’s trend-happy downtown, Aspen’s world class shopping and celebrities, the shiny casinos that make Lake Tahoe nights quickly turn into morning — but there is something incredibly romantic about a get-away destination that puts a premium on snow, scenery and simplicity.

And there is no purer skiing experience, than Alta, UT.  Continue reading

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Decorating Inspiration: Vintage Maps

This belongs in my house, and in my heart.

It takes one look at a map of the United States to get me excited. Why? Not only is it fun to get a sense of scope (whoa, Texas really IS huge), but they’re a blueprint for potential exploration and adventure.

When I was 10 years old my family took a trip to Denver, Colorado for my Uncle Steve’s wedding. It was the first time I had been west of the Mississippi, and I can still remember standing in the Birmingham airport looking at a map and feeling this huge rush because later that day (!) we would be touching down amid the mountains of west. What a concept: this morning we were in the muggy south, but by afternoon we’d be in the cool dry air of the Rockies. It was a euphoric moment.  

When thinking about how to bring that type of magic into the home, I’ve turned to vintage, pull-down maps (elementary school-style). They bring a touch of warmth and youthful familiarity while adding a big pop of color and charisma to any wall. And, they’re fun to stare at while pondering your next escape.

While I love all kinds of interior accessories, few deliver the child-like sense of adventure like these maps do. And I think it’s safe to say … everyone could use a little more of that.

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Filed under Design, Travel

Classic Vacations: Comfy Over Luxury.

Yeah okay, so the classic golf courses help the cause...

Through the years, I’ve had my chance to occasionally enjoy over-the-top luxury when vacationing. Whether it was being put up at the Roosevelt in NYC courtesy of Columbia Records, staying at the Standard in LA while attending the Grammy’s, or doing a travel piece on the penthouse suite the W in Atlanta … I have had some remarkable opportunities to experience things that are typically reserved for folks much more important than me.

But while being put up at Sea Island this past weekend while on assignment for Tuxedo Road, I realized something. It’s not the level of luxury that makes you want to return year-after-year. Not the level of opulence that guarantees a happy getaway. Not the flashy name you can brag about to your friends.

It’s about feeling comfortable, feeling at home … and feeling at ease. Continue reading

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Classic Ski Holiday: Telluride, CO

Oldschool Townhuey

Iconic travel: Telluride, CO. (Photo: Telluride Ski Resort)

Telluride has always been a bit illusive, for even the passionate ski buff. Located in the nearly inaccessible southern tip of Colorado, simply getting there is beyond inconvenient. (Unless of course you pony up the $1000-per ticket price and fly direct into their tiny landing strip, 9,000 feet up.) And the fact that it’s turned into bit of a new-school Aspen in recent years further confirms the affordability issue.

But it’s the single place that tops our “Places We Must One Day Ski” list and it’s about time to start planning for 2011… Continue reading

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Jet-Setting Philosophy: Embrace Customs

Vintage NYC

The idea of "shopping in NYC" was never meant to include national chains.

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” has long been a sound travel philosophy, but with America’s global corporate reach, it’s become harder to avoid what we already see in every day life. But you’ll find the more you make an effort to embrace whatever culture you’re in, the more memorable and eye-opening experience you’ll have. Sure it takes a little time to read up on the customs of new cities or other countries, but getting wooed off the street by a singing restaurateur in NYC’s Little Italy district sure as hell beats grabbing a slice at Sbarro in Times Square. So be gregarious with curiosity, don’t be afraid to converse with the locals, try your best to blend in and document your experience with cards and photographs … because THIS, will be an experience you’ll want to remember and share.

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