Salt Lake City, UT, United States :
Such a beautiful hotel in downtown Salt Lake. The owner, Earl Holding, was the owner of Sinclair Oil and when the Olympics were coming to Salt Lake he wanted Salt Lake to have a world-class 5 star hotel so he built the Grand America Hotel Salt Lake City and it is exceptional. The bar is cool with wood and masculine appointments and typically will have someone playing piano on weekend nights. There is so much crystal in this hotel it is incredible. Even the restrooms are beautiful. The rooms are are high quality and feature luxury appointments and very comfy beds. The robes are the softest you'll ever feel and the spa is awesome. It's only 30 minutes from Park City and surrounded by shopping and restaurants.
Rickhouse San Francisco is a cool bar with an old-time feel. Lots of wood and it's dark so, of course, you'll see a lot of hot guys! There's a cool loft area and when we went they had a bluegrass band playing. I had a "La Bonne Vie " which was so yummy!!
We had heard about Bourbon Branch San Francisco Speakeasy from a friend who lives in San Francisco and she told us about how it was a speakeasy years ago during prohibition and you have to find it and have a password to get in and it all sounded mysterious so we had to check it out. You need to reserve a time slot (and I hear they are really strict about being there during your time), but once you get inside you can just feel the history! The drinks are amazing, they really spend time to make sure your drink is perfect. The menu has the best drinks and they even have house rules, like, "no cell-phones" and "no standing at the bar" and they don't allow photography. I guess they want it to stay mysterious and it looks like its working- definitely worth the experience!
San Francisco, CA, United States :
Ice Cream Bar San Francisco is like walking into an old 50's soda shop. They have malts and floats and the most amazing ice creams! I had the Hot Brownie Sundae w/Vanilla and Banana Puddin ice cream and it was so good! My friend Tiffi had the caramelized honey ice cream with marshmallow fluff topping- OMG! You feel like you are in the Back to the Future movie the way the staff (they call themselves "Jerks", like "soda jerks" dress and the atmosphere, it's all retro. Love love love this place!
Every year on Easter Sunday at 20th and Vermont you will find the "Bring your own big wheel race"- people dress up in costumes and race down the winding roads. This is definitely one of those "Only in San Francisco" things and it is so fun. We just watched, but we want to go back and be in the race!
New York, NY, United States :
I had my bridal shower here this past weekend, and it was UNREAL. I walked in and was totally blown away. The setting at Casellula Manhattan was absolutely perfect for a Parisian/French shower. Cute, classy, perfect size. We were a group of about 16 women and the restaurant accommodated us perfectly for a few apps and drinks prior to a wine and cheese tasting and a hearty lunch along with a game and presents. Seriously...so much amazing food. Faves were Pepedew peppers stuffed with mozz and wrapped in prosciutto, endive salad, pigs ass sandwich, Mac and cheese, and they even threw in some free dessert truffle bite nut things for free (amazing). Plus, the wine and cheese tasting had a ton of awesome cheese accompaniments as well. It was the PERFECT way to kick off my wedding season, and I will never forget the day. Thank you Casellula!!
West Village, Manhattan, NYC :
I think I'm in love. Really it was meant to be - this bar combines so many of my favorite things: Hudson Street, good wine, a charmingly quirky staff, a warm atmosphere, brilliantly subtle decor - a stately oval bar, translucent leaf lampshades, wrought iron filigree - good food, it was a match made in heaven. Because Lelabar have such a wide selection of wine, cheese, meat, and small plates, just trust the bartender/chef to pick something out for you.
Get to know the bartenders! Chris, Heather, John, Naveen are all great.
I tried a sharp sheep's milk cheese, tasso ham and wild boar salami- awesome. Mixing it up wine-wise, I had a delicious sparkling rose.
Do yourself a favor and try their fresh, handmade CHOCOLATES. You'll never go back to your friends Ghiradelli or Godiva ever again. I dream about the cashew caramel turtle with sea salt!
Nolita, Manhattan, NYC :
Before even taking a look at the menu of Pearl and Ash, the music (from pop oldies to Rolling Stones), friendly staff, and dim lighting made me happy to have found such a place to take refuge from the frigid temperatures outside. While I was meeting girlfriends for dinner, we all commented that it would make a great date spot - cozy but at the same time loud and not too intimate. The wine list is massive (as a heads up, expect to pay somewhere in the $15 - $20 range for a glass.)
The server advised us that everything on the menu was "designed to share," and that 2 people should order 6 - 8 items, which we did. Of everything we ordered, the scallop crudo stole the show - we both even remarked that it reminded of us of key lime pie - but the squash with boar's bacon wasn't far behind.
Capitol Hill, Seattle :
The owners of Vino Verite Seattle, Haj and Dave are a god-send to the Capitol Hill neighborhood. With free wine tasting from 6-8 every Thursday [and a bottle open every day to stop by and taste], I have been unbelievably impressed with the following:
1. I always go girlfriends, and every.single.time we go, we are remembered by name. My gfriend is an artist, and Haj is especially supportive and interested in the local art scene, encouraging my friend to get her website published and wanting to see her work! Now that's what I call local.
2. They are incredibly supportive and encouraging about wine education - with zero pretension
3. I get a personal email every week describing what will be served at the upcoming tasting..
4. 4. Ridiculous selection of wine - and many that I can actually buy with prices ranging from $8-...well, a lot.
Go to the tastings - but back away from the counter-left. That's my spot :)
While I was on vacation in California, the plastic hook on the back of my bandeau bikini top broke. Most of my friends throw their bathing suits away when this happens, but I love this top. Instead, I threaded a key ring through the loops to hold the top together. It turned out to be a great quick fix and you can Fix Your Bikini With A Keyring too.
My friends and I always bring our own towels to lay across our lounge chairs when we go to a beach resort, to a hotel with a pool, or on a cruise. Because most of the other guests use the white towels supplied by the resort, our chairs are easy to spot, hence you can use same technique to Spot Your Beach Chairs. We use the resort's towels to dry off if we go into the water.
Scuba divers know how difficult putting on a wet suit can be. My friend figured out a Tip for Putting on Your Wetsuit: Place a Ziploc bag on your hand or foot before you slide it into the suit's sleeve or leg. The smooth surface of the bag helps you slip the wet suit on easily.
If you don't have a sunglasses case, store your shades in one of those tube–shaped containers that Use Crystal Light as A Case for Sunglasses is sold in. The tubes are just the right size and rigid enough to protect the glasses. Plus, it's no great loss if you misplace one
Las Vegas, NV, United States :
Hecho en Vegas at the MGM hotel in Las Vegas is awesome Mexican food and margaritas. Hecho has the best taquitos and table-side guacamole anywhere in Vegas! If you are staying at the MGM it's right as you are walking to the pool. If you aren't staying at the MGM just follow the signs like you going to the pool and you'll see it.
The High Roller is the worlds largest observation wheel at 550 feet high. The High Roller has 28 spherical, Italian-handcrafted glass-enclosed cabins that hold 40 people in each and there is a bar so you can take drinks with you. Each cabin comes equipped with eight monitor screens playing video and music shows and you can rent them out for private parties or events.
Las Vegas, NV, United States :
The Bellagio Hotel remains one of the most beautiful hotels on the strip, or anywhere for that matter. The fountains are world famous (and immortalized in the Oceans 11 movie) and the casino, hotel, rooms, restaurants, shows- all of it is just classy and beautiful. The best Cirque du Soleil show "O" is at the Bellagio.
Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, NV, United States :
My friend and I stayed at the Luxor for 3 nights in June, 2014. As we drove up the Valet Parking attendants set the tone for the rest of the stay; they had great attitudes in the 108 degree weather, and let us know if we needed directions anywhere they could help! Then the check-in staff who were so friendly and helpful in choosing our room and acquiescing to our request for a higher floor let us know if we needed anything just call them. The rest of the staff at the Hotel were great as well, including the maid and room service staff. The rest of the stay was great...we saw the Chris Angel Magician Show, and walked through the Titanic and Bodies exhibits both top notch... Luxor Hotel and Casino was exceptional and the service was as good as it gets in Las Vegas. LAX nightclub is in the hotel and was still going when we left at 2am. Great price for the rooms too! Would I stay at the Luxor Las Vegas again, ABSOLUTELY...