Friday, November 20, 2015

Secluded Paradise on St. Lucia's Anse Mamin


St. Lucia is an island that epitomizes the idea of paradise. From striking views of the Pitons twin peaks to lush rain forests and surreal beaches, this island overflows with natural beauty. So I guess I should have been prepared when I arrived in the village of Soufriere at Anse Chastanet Resort and was greeted with a three walled room that showcased the vistas up close. I'll do a post about my room later but non-stop gazing out at that stunning landscape made me think that I had absorbed all the perfection possible. I was so wrong. After hopping a water taxi to Anse Mamin, about 10 minutes north of Anse Chastanet, my mouth dropped. A tiny black sand beach surrounded with cerulean waves and only a handful of people unfolded before me. It looked like a Gauguin painting, it was so unspoiled and tranquil.


An open air kitchen served up what was reported to be "the world's best burger," to be enjoyed under palapas with views of the sea. I ordered the fish burger on traditional johnny cakes doused with banana ketchup and accompanied by plantain chips.


I honestly don't remember what it tasted like. I think it was good but the beach was such a distraction that all I could do was take a few bites so that I could finish and dive into the water. And I remember what the water was like. It was warm and enveloping, with only a few fish joining me. The canopy of palm trees waved as I floated out of the water and laid out on the soft black sand. It was paradise indeed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Next Stop: Lovely St. Lucia


I'm so grateful to be returning to one of my favorite islands--stunning St. Lucia. This time, I'll be focusing on wellness and active adventures on the island. I'll be trying Snuba and jungle biking for the first time and re-visiting the Soufriere mud baths. I'm also really excited about going back to the legendary Gros Islet jump up street party, I have lots of fond memories of the music and warm locals there. Hopefully, I'll also get a chance to talk to an herbalist about traditional Lucian remedies. My press trip is sponsored by the St. Lucia Tourism Board, which has re-vamped their travel focus since I was last on the island two years ago. I expect to have many new discoveries at this charming locale so please stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

4 Places to Capture Chicago Music


I've been writing for a slew of new publications this year, including a few international sites. I was excited to be contacted by Brilliant Noise Media to craft a story about the best places to hear classic Chicago music for London's Heathrow site, Good to Go. You know I was pumped about sharing Windy City sounds! I supplied details about where to hear signature Chicago blues and jazz. Check out my post here.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Prague's Astronomical Clock


Prague is famous for its medieval architecture and one of the most unusual landmarks is the astronomical clock in the middle of the Old Town square. I have to admit, although I'd heard about the castles and Charles Bridge, I had never heard anything about this clock. But there it was, an imposing structure in the middle of the historic square, with hordes of tourists surrounding it.


I learned that the clock is 605 years old and has been working non-stop for all of those centuries. All the excitement is centered around wooden figures of the apostles,which appear in windows every hour. Some of the statues also move, with the death figure beckoning to a Turkish man, who shakes his head and a miserly man with a money bag shaking a stick. Sounds cool. But as I gathered with the crowd at 4 pm, I didn't see any of that. I saw the windows open and I suppose I glimpsed the apostles but it all happened so quickly that I can't say I did for sure. It literally only lasted for a few seconds and I stood there, as the crowds moved away, waiting for more. But that was it so it's no surprise that I was underwhelmed by the astronomical clock. What I did enjoy was the view after I climbed the tower, below. Have you have any travel experiences that weren't what you expected?