Blog Archives

Hotel Review: Heathman Hotel, Kirkland, Washington

The Heathman Hotel is located in the heart of downtown Kirkland on the east side of Lake Washington and boasts that it’s the only boutique hotel in Kirkland. Just a couple of blocks from the lake, in fact, conveniently located in the city and a short walk from Marina Park, local shops, and galleries. While the hotel is within easy walking distance to lots of locations, complimentary bicycles are available to guests. It expands your options if you don’t want to spend all your time driving, it’s a fitness option that’s also fun. There is a fully equipped gym if you want a more regimented fitness routine. Free Wi-Fi makes the hotel attractive for both business and leisure travelers. Who Stays at the Heathman Hotel? The Heathman Hotel caters to a large variety of guest types, ranging from solo businessmen […]

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Milwaukee: Art Museums For an Inspired Visit

Milwaukee is a vibrant city with abundant attractions. I’ve written about the quirky Bobblehead Museum and the impressive niche-specific Harley Davidson Museum (and there are plenty of fans who considered those bikes works of art). Today I’m tackling something more suited for the culture readers, taking a look at Milwaukee art museums. I think you’ll find it represents some of the best in the midwest. In these art museums, you’ll find some of the most famous works of art, including works from Van Gogh, Salvador Dali, and Marc Chagall. If modern art is more your thing, there is no lacking. And if American decorative arts or Haitian art or German expressionism are your jam, you’ll find a museum collection that speaks to your special interests. But where do you find these pieces? What does each museum have to offer? This […]

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REVIEW: Astra Hotel, Seattle

The recently opened Astra Hotel Seattle is part of the Marriot Group’s Tribute Collection. Centrally located in the South Lake Union neighborhood, the new hotel is conveniently near Seattle’s major attractions – the Space Needle, Seattle Center campus, Lake Union, and the Amazon Spheres. This technologically progressive Seattle hotel boasts an array of smart features and functions, fitting in perfectly with the tech hub in which it is located. With state-of-the-art amenities and a convenient location with comfortable rooms, the Astra Hotel has set a high bar for a downtown stay. Who Stays at the Astra Hotel in Seattle? The eclectic clientele ranges from business travelers and young professionals to families. Meeting and event space is plentiful, attracting the tech-set who will find the range of tech-enabled meeting spaces attractive. The abstract art is enticing and the retina displays are […]

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Celebrate World Whiskey Day

Take some grain, corn, rye or wheat will do, perhaps malted barley. Ferment in a still. Age in a wooden cask, oak works well, for various years. Then put into bottles. Voila – you have whisky. Or whiskey, if you prefer. As a general rule, it is spelled “whiskey”—with an e—in the United States and Ireland, and “whisky”—without an e—in Scotland, Japan, and Canada. An easy way to remember it is if the country has an “e” in it, so does whisk(e)y. A simple basic process is at the root of all whiskey making, from the rotgut in the backyard still to the smoothest Irish whiskey. However, the process of refining the smooth taste has evolved over generations and has often been passed from one master blender to another. Whiskey has become strictly regulated, with very specifically defined classes and types based […]

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20 Fascinating Museums in St. Augustine

St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States. and you can bet there are plenty of museums that highlight its fascinating and sometimes sketchy past. The historic downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places and is where you’ll find most of the restaurants, attractions, and shopping. It combines European flair with a spectacular bayfront to create a walkable downtown that makes history a priority. The city boasts a number of impressive museums, including some fascinating niche collections. For a recent visit, I dug into some research on the museums in St. Augustine, was able to visit a few of them, and have the rest queued up for a return visit. If you’re visiting Florida and you’re keen to learn more about the country’s history, you’ll want to plan a visit to St. Augustine. And while you’re […]

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Visit Sunnylands, Rancho Mirage, California

The greater Palm Springs area has been a popular vacation spot for Hollywood movie stars and California’s elite society for decades, and it’s no surprise why. Its natural hot springs, 5-star resorts, 90+ golf courses in the surrounding area, and year-round sunny weather. This perfect vacation spot has evolved from a playground for the rich and famous into a year-round destination for everyone. But let’s take a little time to explore that old-world Palm Spring era with a stop at Sunnylands in Palm Springs. History of Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage Sunnylands is the former estate of Walter and Leonore Annenberg and was built as their winter retreat in Rancho Mirage, California.  Walter and Leonore built a vacation home in the Palm Springs area, like many others, but they wanted their home to be more than just floors and walls. They […]

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13 INCREDIBLE Places to Celebrate the Spring Equinox

The spring equinox is the time of year when the sun lies directly above the equator, meaning that the length of day and night are equal. It is also referred to by other names, such as Ostara equinox and the vernal equinox. The Spring Equinox falls on different days each year, although it is usually around the same time. In 2022, it lands on March 20th in the Northern Hemisphere and September 22nd in the Southern Hemisphere. It marks the beginning of spring in the Northern hemisphere and the beginning of fall in the Southern Hemisphere. The confusion between spring and fall with the hemispheres is why it’s sometimes easier to just refer to it as the vernal equinox (even though vernal means spring, it sometimes sounds less confusing). For thousands of years, ancient civilizations have held spring equinox celebrations. Spring […]

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A Nod of Approval for the National Bobblehead Museum & Hall of Fame

Bobbleheads are more than just toys, they have become collectibles, and are usually a type of figurine depicting a notable person or character. Sometimes they are created for publicity (as you often see for sports teams or sports figures), sometimes to honor an important person or celebrity (presidents or movie stars). The Milwaukee Bobblehead Museum and Hall of Fame holds the world’s largest collection of bobbleheads, and I couldn’t wait to visit on a recent trip to Milwaukee. The museum is also one of the quirkiest museums in the city, and that always holds appeal for me. Let’s start with the basics. What are Bobbleheads? Bobbleheads, nodders, or “yes men”, are a type of small action figure collectible item that is well known for, well, having a bobbly head. Usually, bobbleheads are designed so the head is much larger than […]

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Visiting Salton Sea: Your Guide to This Must-See California Attraction

The Salton Sea is one of the most environmentally significant places in California. It was once a booming tourist destination and attraction, but turned into an environmental disaster, leaving much of the surrounding towns and settlements abandoned and desolated. But that does not mean to suggest that it’s not worth visiting the Salton Sea. Today, the Salton Sea attracts visitors wanting to experience its volcanic mud hot springs, observe the unique wildlife, and also swing by the famous Slab City, a lawless town that features many art installations. For those undertaking a road trip through California, visiting the Salton Sea is definitely something to add to the itinerary. I had never heard of it, but while visiting Palm Springs, a friend suggested it as a day trip. I thought it was a great little escape into nature, and thought about […]

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Avis & Effie Hotchkiss: Women Harley Riders Who Rode Into the History Books

During a time of turmoil and unrest during the first World War, you would never have expected two adventurous women to take on a groundbreaking adventure. Riding motorcycles was stereotypically considered a man’s sport, especially during the early 1900s when vehicles had not long been on the road. But in 1915, just thirteen years after the first Harley Davidson motorcycle was manufactured in America, two women set out to do what society told them they couldn’t.  Known as the pioneers of female adventure motorcycling, Avis and Effie Hotchkiss took their motorcycle cross country to see the scenery. Little did they know that their journey would inspire other women Harley riders, not just in picking up the sport, but in fighting for political justice. Who are Avis and Effie Hotchkiss? 52-year-old Avis Hotchkiss, and her 26-year-old daughter Effie, were the first female […]

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