On a recent morning visit to Red Rock National Park, I captured several photos of my view. When I uploaded this iPhone shot to my computer, I was blown away by how gorgeous it turned out! This incredible view is only about 10 minutes away from where I live, so methinks I should head out to Red Rock and hike more!
One of my favorite photographs is from a rainy Sunday afternoon visit to Paris’ Musée d’Orsay. My now-fiance’ Jacob and I were there early in our relationship, and while I’d been to Paris multiple times, I’d never explored this spot. The building that houses famous artwork is a work of art itself, as it was converted from a train station. I was fascinated by the clock faces on the top floor…the view from which one could catch a glimpse of the city beyond.
At one point during our tour, we found ourselves alone in a large, but unoccupied gallery. It had hardwood floors and high ceilings, and Jacob extended his arm and asked me to dance. We only did a very brief spin, but it was a very special moment–dancing alone in Paris. Seeing this picture reminds me of that drizzly but romantic day at the Orsay and brings a smile to my face.
Since I moved to Las Vegas, I’ve been spoiled by mostly mild winters, except for about a month where it does get extremely cold. I’ve learned that the desert doesn’t mean absence of cold…just much more dry and less water. Regardless, on a recent trip to Miami, I got the opportunity to really experience 70 degree days in the middle of February…by the pool. And not just any pool–the Trump National Doral has an oasis of a pool area, smartly embellished with yellow loungers and striped umbrellas. The service is outstanding, and the black and red mojito may be a new favorite. Welcome to Miami | Bienvenido a Miami.
Taylor Swift wrote us a song–Welcome to New York–and it was the soundtrack of our visit there recently. In that vein, I thought I’d write a melody of my own to sum up our weekend there. Maestro, if you please…
New York is Cold
A Melody by S. Bates
Brrr! Brr! Wear your scarf.
Freeze freeze…with hat and gloves!
The 9/11 Memorial is profoundly gorgeous
And filled with thoughts of love.
Subway to Soho; get your Metro card.
Stop in Prada en route to warm up…
Meet friends from college over brunch
at Hundred Acres over bub(bles).
Head uptown down the avenue;
Ignore the freezing wind (freezing wind!)
Stroll hand-and-hand in Central Park
Before spotting the Plaza and going in!
A glass of Malbec at the bar
Will warm you like nothing can.
Head down Fifth Avenue to experience
The deliciousness that is Bergdorf Goodman.
Here the cafe is a dream–
The best to celebrate…
Friends, family, art deco, impeccable service,
And your fiance’s birthday.
Check out of the fabulous W Downtown;
Hop an Uber and head to JFK.
You avoided the winter storm.
Go home, warm up, hurray!
I knew I was an global business traveler and an amateur photographer, but until I wrote the above (possibly Grammy-winning) ballad, I had no idea that songwriting was in my future. (Insert sarcasm here.) Even with my lack of musical talent, I hope you’ll agree with me that a trip to cold NYC is the perfect thing to do in January, provided one has a fabulous winter coat. Welcome to New York!
Baby, it’s cold outside…especially in Las Vegas! Some people don’t think it gets cold in Sin City, but the desert weather gets pretty chilly in the winter. Right now, it’s 46º degrees…brrr! When the wintry weather arrives, there is no place like Las Vegas Blvd. to get into the Christmas spirit!
Our perennial favorite is the Bellagio, home of the Bellagio Conservatory and our favorite bar–the Petrossian. My fiance’ actually chose this spot to propose, as we come here at least five times a year to see the ever-changing seasons spotlighted at the Conservatory. I’ve even blogged about it before, and the best time of the year to stroll through the gorgeous atrium is holiday time! This year didn’t disappoint–imagine penguins, polar bears constructed of flowers, and a giant Christmas tree!
Another favorite thing to do in Vegas in the winter is ice skating! Several of the casinos, including the stylish Cosmopolitan and the Venetian, have outdoor ice rinks. We’ve enjoyed the one at the Cosmopolitan the last couple of years, as the rooftop pool converted to a rink makes this girl feel as though she is skating down the Strip! And even if you hate to skate, there are glorious fire pits and cold weather cocktails available.
Need some other December ideas for the Strip? There is the world record-breaking Great Santa Run each year in Downtown Las Vegas, lovely holiday shopping at Fashion Show Mall, and the Magical Forest at nearby Opportunity Village.
Three years ago right before the Christmas holidays, I found myself in Ireland for a week of business meetings. We stayed at the charming Dunboyne Castle Hotel near Dublin in the village of Meath, which was enchantingly covered in snow. My colleagues and I became very familiar with the local pub–enough to jump the bar and pour our own drinks. I will never forget the time I got to “bar tend” in Ireland!
December’s Travel Photo of the Month™ is from the Guinness Storehouse, which we toured for an evening networking event. I’d been once before, and I fondly remembered the tour and the 360 degree views from the rooftop bar. If you are interested in beer at all, this is a must-see in Dublin. We even got properly trained on how to pull a pint.
Happy holidays from this travel blogger…I wish you happiness and the opportunity to see more of our beautiful world!