Wine with MJ: Virtual Wine Tasting: Akash Winery & Vineyard, Temecula

This virtual wine tasting features Akash Patel, owner of Akash Winery & Vineyards in Temecula, California. It’s our celebration of Temecula Valley Wine Month and we hope it entices you to discover wines from the region in southern California. I loved Akash’s story of the family journey from New Mexico motel owner/operators to California winery owners – and it shows proof that visualization (having that picture on the wall of your dream) works. Watch a replay of the live tasting below: We also have the episode available in an audio format. You can listen directly from the player below. Or, we’re also set up on the major podcast player platforms and you can listen and or subscribe to this virtual wine tasting series there. We’re currently on: Apple Podcasts Spotify Google Podcasts Overcast Pocket Casts Radio Public Breaker Anchor FM […]

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How to Have Fun at Northwest Trek

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is a great place to view nature in a spacious, outdoor setting. You’ll see all sorts of native Northwest flora and fauna at this park in Eatonville, Washington. Read on to discover more about the touring options and the animals you’ll see at Northwest, along with our tips for making the most of your time at this wonderful place. Visiting Northwest Trek There are currently three ways to experience the magnificent Northwest Trek flora and fauna – Keeper Adventure Tours (recently reinstated), the Wild Drive. or the Wild Walk. Make the choice based on your budget and whether you want to walk, ride, or drive. All of the options allow you to see and learn more about the wildlife native to the Washington and Pacific Northwest area. Keeper Adventure Tours at Northwest Trek Keeper Adventure Tours […]

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Weekend Getaway: Discover Things to Do in Walla Walla

When planning a weekend getaway in Washington State, check out this useful guide to Walla Walla. We cover where to stay, where to eat, as well as things to do in Walla Walla. You may come to Walla Walla for the wine, but you’ll find so much more. Walla Walla is in southeast Washington and takes its name from the Walla Walla people who lived in the area alongside other Native American tribes. The city is close to the Oregon border, just six miles north. Things to do in Walla Walla, Washington Whether you prefer to sample fine food and wine during a weekend break, like to discover a region’s fascinating history, or simply want to kick back and relax, Walla Walla has lots to offer. Browse the farmers market for local fare, explore history at a museum, or enjoy […]

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Wine With MJ: Virtual Wine Tasting, Valdo Prosecco

We’re back with our virtual wine tasting this week we feature Penny Sadler, travel and wine writer, WSET student, and wine tasting host. Our wine selection was Prosecco – my favorite of the sparkling (spumante) options, and we tasted Valdo Marca Oro Prosecco DOC Brut.  Joining us at about the 30 minutes mark was Matteo Bolla, the third generation of the founding family of the Voldo vineyard, named for the town of Valdobbiadene. You might recognize the Bolla name – the family also founded this winery, although sold it and are no longer involved with the label. Penny started us off with some good background information about Prosecco, where it comes from, the different designations, and some ideas on visiting the area. She’s written a helpful article about it (here), so you can use it as a resource as you […]

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Visiting Boulder [Interview on Travel Planners Radio Show]

This past weekend I was a guest on Travel Planners Radio Show, an opportunity to discuss travel to Boulder, Colorado, with hosts Sue and Kevin McCarthy. I’ve known Sue and Kevin for years. We often saw one another at travel shows or conferences, catching on where we’ve been, where we’re going, and sharing great destinations. Since that’s not happening in 2020, it was fun to catch up on their radio show; an opportunity for me to share a recent trip (earlier this year) to Boulder. I think Sue and Kevin would enjoy a trip to Boulder and I think you would, too. Take a listen to the show (in two parts due to a live commercial break that has been removed for this recording). You listen to the Travel Planners Radio Show on their flagship station, WCGO in Chicago as […]

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Weekend Getaway: Visiting Boulder, Colorado

If you are thinking about visiting Boulder, Colorado, and are curious about things to do there, check out our helpful weekend getaway travel guide on what to do, where to eat, and where to stay in this mountain destination. Located 20 minutes northwest of Denver,  was established in 1859 by explorers in search of gold. It’s located in Boulder Valley, the spot where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, creating a location that attracts visitors with its fun lineup of activities. Some of this content was prepared as a result of sponsored travel. Things To Do In Boulder, Colorado Whether you are an outdoor fanatic, in search of intellectual motivation, or just an individual who wishes to have a relaxing yet enjoyable value luxury vacation, Boulder is worth a visit. You’ll find outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, rock climbing, […]

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Weekend Getaway: Visit El Paso, Texas

If it’s not currently on your bucket list, put it there, because it would be a mistake not to visit El Paso, Texas. Located in the far western part of Texas, at the intersection of Texas, New Mexico, and Chihuahua, Mexico, El Paso is rich in history and culture. You might not initially think of visiting El Paso, but as more and more travelers are prioritizing domestic travel over international, this is a city worthy of consideration. Whether you’re lining up a Texas road trip, going in search of Tex-Mex cuisine, or just finally getting to cities that you’ve overlooked, there are plenty of things to do in El Paso. Here is my guide on how to create a terrific El Paso vacation. Things to do in El Paso, Texas Since El Paso shares a border with Mexico, it was […]

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Wine with MJ: Virtual Wine Tasting with Smoky Rose Cellars, Walla Walla

This virtual wine tasting features Jodi and Josh Rosnowski from Smoky Rose Cellars in Walla Walla, Washington. We had some technical difficulties (user error) and despite our best efforts, we are unable to resuscitate a playable video or audio version of the virtual tasting. We’re gutted about this, it was a fun conversation and tasting, and will be trying to put together a follow up recording to post here later. Smoky Rose is a family-owned and operated business. Josh, a retired Air Force meteorologist is the winemaker and vineyard manager. Jodi, a food microbiologist, runs the tasting room and events side of the business. Sister Amy, currently a Cobra Helicopter pilot wth the USMC, is poised to jump in once she retires. Mom and Dad, Jill and Bill, help out with everything from harvest, errands, retail, and anything else that’s […]

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Wine with MJ: Virtual Wine Tasting with The Wine Cafe, Fayetteville, North Carolina

On this virtual wine tasting, we feature Angie Malave from The Wine Cafe in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Angie chose two wines for the tasting from JOLO Winery in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina, as she felt that these were representative of the fine wine selections made with the state’s grapes. We tasted a 2019 Golden Hallows (white) and a 2018 Jolotage (red). These wines are available at The Wine Cafe. May is North Carolina wine month, so put that on your calendar for future wine travels. Watch the episode below: (We had some sound difficulty at the beginning of the episode, but it resolves soon, and we’ve fixed the problem for future episodes.) We also have the episode available in an audio format. You can listen directly from the player below. Or, we’re also set up on the major podcast player platforms […]

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78 Movies Set in Italy You’ll Love (or Hate)

We can’t travel to Italy right now, so get your Italian culture fix with these 73 movies set in Italy. This list represents films set in Italy, not necessarily filmed in Italy – we all know that set designers can make a studio backlot look like the meandering streets of Venice or a Tuscany hill town. While most of these movies are in English, no Italy movie list can ignore the many fine sub-titled Italian movies, so I’ve included some of those. I’ve tried to include the memorable, historical, and romantic movies set in Italy, while acknowledging there are a few that are, perhaps, better forgotten. And if you’re planning a first trip to Italy, this is a great list of movies to watch before you go. Any list is subjective. If your favorite movie set in Italy didn’t make […]

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