Why I love to blog: 5 hopefully good reasons

Today is Labor Day in the United States, a holiday created to honor those whose labor enabled a pretty nice life for many and, for the country, enormous economic advantage.  The day got me thinking about my own current labor. For the last sixteen months, during what otherwise would be described as “retirement”, I have labored at creating content for this travel-focused blog, 3 Score & More, the one that you’re reading now.  It’s unpaid labor; I’ve made nary a dime. It is sometimes very frustrating.  In the end, it is definitely a labor of love and here’s why….

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Magical Mendoza: How to catch the best of it

Mendoza is often associated with the other Argentinian M-word: Malbec. The region is indeed the heart of Argentina’s  prodigious wine production and the focus of many a trip. The wine tasting was certainly high on my list and I did plenty of it.

But there is more to explore: Mendoza is sophisticated yet laid-back; beautiful parks reflect the regions’ rich history and Spanish heritage. Culinary expertise pairs nicely with the renown wine. Traveling with the expertise of Yampu Tours, here’s how two friends and I caught the best of Mendoza, from Malbec to aflajores.

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The solar eclipse through a colander: 3 amazing photos

Those of us in the U.S. expecting a partial solar eclipse on August 21st were duly warned:  looking directly at this phenomenon without special viewing glasses would result in certain damage to our eyes. Alternatively, we could use the “pinhole” method and track the sun and moon pas de deux through a small opening harmlessly casting the shadow play on to a flat surface.

Enter the lowly kitchen colander – repurposed to serve as a  “pinhole” device creating a repeated pattern of celestial beauty. Who knew?  Continue reading “The solar eclipse through a colander: 3 amazing photos”

How to celebrate a milestone birthday

 

There are all sorts of ways to experience a milestone birthday: A blow-out party, cozy family event, festivities in all configurations. And of course travel… my favorite way to celebrate anything. 

It was an honor to join a friend’s milestone birthday celebration in Barbados.  A brilliant way to acknowledge gratitude for years past and anticipate the years to come with a gathering of friends and a smattering of spouses who joined for the last few days. 

Here’s how it went down…along with some practical how to’s for your own milestone celebration. Continue reading “How to celebrate a milestone birthday”

5 reasons why you should see Umbria’s amazing spring

Spring is a sign of regeneration and nowhere is that more evident than in Italy’s central province of Umbria. The wisteria’s vibrancy sends the bees into a frenzy of activity, the iris’ delicate white blossoms bump up against the woody grape vines and trees ripe with spring growth; the season’s unfolding is something to behold.

Umbria is beautiful all year round, but spring may just its peak. The following photo essay was drawn from the area around Civitella del Lago, a small village above a ‘lake’ formed by a dam on the river Tiber.  The town is located in between Todi and Perugia, in central Umbria.

Here are some reasons to see Umbria in the spring….

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Where to find London’s absolutely best gin and tonic

It’s at The Distillery, on Portobello Road in trendy Notting Hill.  Hands down best.  Not the kind of gin and tonic with the anemic slice of lime that you you find at summer cocktail parties. Oh no, not here.

Here, gin is an art form with over a hundred brands on hand from around the world and a dozen or so different tonic waters and curated garnishes paired to enhance its flavor and aroma.
My ‘gin-perience’ began at The Distillery’s unique gin bar, Gintonica….

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What is the best secret hotel in Uruguay? Probably this one.

Casa Zinc in La Barra across the small wavy bridge from Uruguay’s famed costal hot spot, Punta del Este.

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It’s part of the Tablet Hotel collection, which hints at its exclusive, uber-cool nature.

Casa Zinc is a small hotel, a hipster’s dream; an unassuming collection of six rooms in a quiet residential neighborhood off the main thoroughfare.

Don’t let the trompe d’oeil facade and Casa Zinc’s consciously  rumpled public areas fool you. The illusion masks attention to detail in all creature comforts, wrapping modern conveniences in luxurious, carefully curated bohemian chic with just a whiff of intrigue.

Want to conjure up a mysterious past?  Cafe Zinc is the perfect setting.

See if you don’t agree in the following slideshow or Casa Zinc’s online gallery, here.

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Why you will love a day at Argentina’s amazing Iguazu Falls

Say “Argentina” and wine – especially Malbec – comes to mind. But the world’s largest waterfall system, the dramatic Iguazú Falls, lies along Argentina’s border with Brazil. “Amazing” doesn’t really do them justice.

The Iguazú National Park (Parques Nacionales Iguazú (AR) y do lguaçu (Br)) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  After a few days in the sun-parched wine country of Mendoza, seeing – and occasionally feeling – water drop 270 feet (82 meters) is, well, refreshing.

Yampu Tours booked the day’s tour to Iguazú Falls, as part of a larger trip to Argentina. A high point was an unforgettable boat trip to get up close and personal with water flowing at a rate of 62,ooo cubic feet (approximately 1800 square meters) per second.

Yes, it’s humbling. Take look….
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