Sunday, November 29, 2015


No travel info today...just a reminder of a fantastic dessert in Venice. Yum!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Don't Toss Your Boarding Pass

You've arrived at your destination. What do you do with the boarding pass? After all, you don't need it any more...right?

Don't toss it in the hotel or any other wastebasket. Why?

As with most documents, your boarding pass has information about you on it. And, that information can be accessed by a site reading the barcode on your boarding pass. You don't want your phone number, frequent flyer number, your account PIN, or any other personal information to be accessed by someone who shouldn't have that info.

Save it and shred it when you get home...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Globes and Atlases

Looking for a unique gift for some kids this year? How about a globe or an atlas?

Our world seems to be getting smaller all the time. Let the kids see the world from the perspective of a globe. You can also check out National Geographic's Kids World Atlas to have them start learning where other countries are in comparison to the US.

Monday, November 23, 2015

What is STEP?

Do you know what STEP is and why you should know about it? The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow US citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.

Why do this? You will receive emails about your destination, including issues, danger zones, or safety conditions. This will also help the US Embassy contact you in an emergency, natural disaster, or family emergency. If you are at home and a family member is traveling abroad, the US Embassy will assist you in contacting them in case of an emergency here at home.

It's a great program and one I use all the time. The link:

Saturday, November 21, 2015

How Much Do You Weigh?

When you purchase a new piece of luggage, there are so many things to think about. How much does it weigh? How are you going to use it? Will it be for checked luggage only or do you want it to do double duty?

Let's think about how much it weighs. First, do you know the weight limit for checked luggage? Airlines will tell you what their weight limit is, so check their website if you don't already know. For domestic, it's often 50 pounds. But, check to make sure. Does the weight of your bag make a huge difference to you? Shop around to get the right weight, if it does.

But, you may find discrepancies in weight when shopping online for luggage. The manufacturer's site will give you a weight of the bag. So will any other sites selling that same bag. The problem is, sometimes those sites differ from each other in what the bag weighs. That could be a problem if weight of your bag is the only concern you have.

What do you do? Check more than one site. If the difference is great enough to matter to might want to check it out in person. Weigh it for yourself.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Jessup Cellars Event

 Jessup Cellars’ Third Annual "Art House Short Film Series" Opens
Saturday, December 12 at its Napa Valley Yountville Tasting Gallery

New for 2015/16: Jessup Cellars Offers $75 Local’s Season Pass

(Yountville, CA, November 12th 2015) Jessup Cellars 3rd Annual Art House Short Film Series opens Saturday, December 12th at Jessup Cellars Tasting Gallery in Yountville, California. The winery and art gallery pairs award-winning short films from the San Jose and Walnut Creek Short Film Festivals and the Napa Valley Film Festival. Each screening night features a guest filmmaker and Q&A, with all films paired with a Jessup Cellars wine and a Chef MikeC wok-popped, flavored-infused popcorn, e.g., Fried Chicken & Mash Potatoes Popcorn paired with Chardonnay.

Over the past two years, the series has become a sell-out hit with both locals and visitors to the Napa Valley. New for the 2015/16 series, Jessup Cellars is offering a $75 Local's Season Pass for all four screenings, which will take place on the second Saturdays of December 12, January 9, February 13 and March 12 from 7:00pm to 9:30pm. Tickets are $35 each and available online at series ticketing partner

"As a film buff, I look forward to our winter short films series with great anticipation and expectation. The format is so dynamic and immediately rewarding," explains Tracy McArdle, General Manager for the Good Life Wine Collective, which includes Jessup Cellars, Handwritten Wines and Humanitas Wines. "Within a short series of frames, these award-winning stories unfold and close…and then it's on to the next film, wine and popcorn pairing. It makes for a perfect date night!”

From animation to comedy to drama, Jessup Cellars Art House Short Film Series has built a loyal following by taking its guests on an emotional and inspirational ride through the cinematic and culinary arts. The screenings are be followed by meet-and-greets with filmmakers and the opportunity to purchase Jessup Cellars wines in support of indie short film projects. To learn more visit

About Jessup Cellars
Jessup Cellars Tasting Gallery is located at 6740 Washington St., Yountville, California and open 10am to 6pm daily. Celebrating the art of the blend, its wines are sourced from the finest vineyards throughout Napa Valley. Guests at Jessup Cellars may choose to taste at its wine bar or relax with sit-down, hosted wine and artisan cheese tastings in it’s spacious gallery amongst curated art by regional and national artists. The winery also specializes in hosting interactive cultural experiences with a focus on supporting the arts. To learn more about Jessup Cellars, visit or call 888.537.7879.

# # #

Passport Pages

More passport facts you may not know...

Many countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within the next six months. Always check the expiration date before you book your next trip.

Traveling to South Africa? You need at least two blank pages in your passport or you won't be admitted to the country.

New Posts...Old Posts

Recently I discovered my Travels and Escapes blogs were not being forwarded to Facebook and Twitter. Apparently something happened. So, unless you subscribed to this missed all my great travel tips, my exciting travel recommendations, and my travel photos.

Since I couldn't have that...I enlisted the help of my web guy. I'm now back on track.

Why do I tell you this?

I'm going to re-post some of the posts from the last couple of months. If you've already seen them, lucky you. You get to read them again. If you missed them, here's your chance to read them for the first time.

Enjoy and Have Fun Traveling...wherever you escape.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pier 2620 Hotel Completes $17 Million Remodel

Check out this San Francisco hotel...Pier 2620 Hotel

Full renovation of 233 rooms creates contemporary hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, NOVEMBER 10, 2015 – Pier 2620 Hotel announced the completion of a $17 million renovation to its 233 updated guest rooms, with the exterior revitalization planned for 2016. The hotel is located in the heart of San Francisco, at the crossroads of Historic North Beach and renowned Fisherman’s Wharf.  

Now operated and managed by Fillmore Hospitality, LLC, the former San Francisco Hilton Fisherman’s Wharf has been renovated to embody the vibrant qualities and diverse experiences that people associate with the city.

“We’re thrilled to have undergone such an expansive remodel,” said David Eisenbraun, General Manager. “Our goal is to live and breathe all that San Francisco has to offer, and our newly revitalized rooms are directly representative of San Francisco’s seafaring history.”

Chicago-based Laurie Miller of Anderson/Miller, Ltd. designed Pier 2620 Hotel’s new look, with custom touches throughout the rooms – from furniture to artwork to d├ęcor – all inspired by the city’s industrial waterfront.

“We looked at every element, every item in the room with a strategic eye to the hotel’s place on the wharf,” said Miller. “Our goal was to create an authentic, San Francisco feel with industrial details that we believe will resonate with the hotel’s visitors.”

Pier 2620 Hotel is a tech-friendly, welcoming environment that blurs the lines between the stereotypical “hotel” experience and the quintessential San Francisco home. “We want to share the best our great city has to offer,” added Eisenbraun. “It starts with giving guests a highly personalized and truly memorable experience. But we also provide local insights tailored to their needs to help them enjoy an authentic taste of San Francisco culture. Our staff does so much more than simply manage hotel room inventory.”

Pier 2620 Hotel is a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Connect Collection, an international portfolio of hotels that connect people to friends and family, business associates, and interesting neighborhoods. Inspired by local culture, the smart, well-appointed, eclectic, and welcoming hotels within this collection seamlessly combine value with comfort and convenience to relax the guest’s busy, on-the-road life.

About Pier 2620 Hotel
Located in the heart of San Francisco, at the crossroads of Historic North Beach and renowned Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 2620 Hotel prides itself on speaking the language of the locals, and sharing the best that San Francisco has to offer. Newly revitalized in 2015 by a $17 million renovation, Pier 2620 Hotel is designed to make every aspect of the guest experience warm, colorful, and memorable through the intuitive use of technology throughout the guests' stay to personalize their experience, combined with seamless integration into the San Francisco culture. 

Previously the San Francisco Hilton Fisherman’s Wharf, the hotel’s operations and management were acquired by Fillmore Hospitality, LLC and reopened in late 2013. Pier 2620 Hotel offers 233 stylish and contemporary guest rooms with free Wi-Fi, a well-equipped, glass-enclosed fitness center overlooking the courtyard, and multiple meeting and event spaces. The hotel also boasts a wide selection of world-class wines available at its EvenKeel Lounge.

Visit Pier 2620 Hotel at 2620 Jones St., San Francisco, CA.

About Fillmore Hospitality, LLC
Fillmore Hospitality provides a full spectrum of investment management and property management services to owners of hotels and resorts throughout North America. The company brings an extensive background of 25+ years in the hospitality industry, and a valuable perspective that provides a comprehensive understanding of assets needed to make a venture successful. Fillmore Hospitality entirely embodies the elements of hospitality, and maintains that providing high quality customer experiences is of the highest priority.

About Preferred Hotels & Resorts Connect Collection
Pier 2620 Hotel is a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Connect Collection. All guests of Pier 2620 Hotel are eligible to enroll in the iPrefer guest loyalty program, which extends points redeemable for cash-value Reward Certificates, elite status, and special benefits such as complimentary Internet to members upon every stay at more than 550 participating Preferred Hotels & Resorts locations worldwide.


Paris is a collection of arrondissements or numbered neighborhoods. The first is in the center of Paris and the rest of the neighborhoods spiral outward from that one. One and Two are the most central.

In the 1st you will find the Louvre, the Tuileries Gardens, and part of the Ile de la Cite.

In the 7th is the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides, home to Napoleon's tomb.

The 8th is where you'll find the Champs-Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe, the Place de la Concorde, and awesome shopping.

The 9th is home to the Opera.

The 18th you will find a hilly neighborhood and also home to Sacre-Coeur, the Moulin Rouge, and Place de Tertre.

Check them out...

Sunday, November 15, 2015


If you're looking for a relaxing, yet wonderfully accommodating, place to stay in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico...check out Villa Herencia Hotel. You won't be disappointed.

More later...

Check my Instagram page for more photos as well. I'm wkvh...

Friday, November 13, 2015


(Napa, CA, November 4, 2015) --Humanitas Wines is partnering with Sole4Souls , along with Napa Valley businesses and student volunteers, to collect 25,000 pairs of shoes this holiday season. These shoes will be collected and sold to micro-entrepreneur partners in places such as Haiti, Honduras and the Philippines, creating an opportunity for thousands in developing nations to start and sustain small businesses selling shoes and clothing. This program, which runs through end of December, is a powerful way for people who are without a traditional job or training to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

Humanitas, part of the Good Life Wine Collective along with sister wineries Jessup Cellars and Handwritten, will use the family-owned wine group’s dry goods storage building in southern Napa to house the shoes prior to national and international distribution. Visit the Soles4Souls Napa Valley Shoe Drive Facebook page to learn more and get a list of local drop-off sites.

“What a pleasure to work with such a plugged in, socially aware company,” said Soles4Souls CEO, Buddy Teaster. “Humanitas understands the power of a business that cares enough to make a difference with their employees, customers and community. The shoe collection and fund raising efforts will have a meaningful impact here at home and around the world. And people will have a great time in the process.”

Additionally, Soles4Soles is part of Humanitas Wines’ Shop to Drink Charitably holiday fundraising drive for three worthy charities, which also includes the Edith Sanford Breast Foundation and Shelter Me . By visiting the Humanitas WinesDrink Charitably page, shoppers may designate 20% of their purchases to one of these select charities.

Soles4Souls is a not for profit global social enterprise committed to fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing. They advance their anti-poverty mission in two distinct ways: Free distribution and micro-enterprise. They live by the saying, “Give a person a fish and they eat for a day; teach a person to fish and they eat for a lifetime.”

Since 2006, Soles4Souls have collected and distributed 26 million pairs of new shoes to those in need in 127 countries around the world and all 50 states in the U.S.

Founded in 2001 in a backyard shed (The Shed-Teau) by wine industry executive Judd Wallenbrock as a way to give back to those less fortunate, Humanitas donates 7% of all revenues to charity. At the Humanitas Tasting Annex in southern Napa, the winery offers appointment only Pay it Forward tasting experiences that feature exclusive tours of its winery facility, along with molecular gastronomy spoon bite pairings developed by master instructor and cookbook authorChef MikeC . For its visitors listening pleasure, the winery also has one of the largest vinyl collections in wine country. Wine lovers who wish to Drink Charitably may order wines online or join a Humanitas Wine Club or by contacting its hospitality team directly at (707) 253-1405.

Soles4Souls is a not for profit global social enterprise committed to fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing. The organization advances its anti-poverty mission by collecting new and used shoes and clothes from individuals, schools, faith- based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners, then distributing those shoes and clothes both via direct donations to people in need and by provisioning qualified micro-enterprise programs designed to create jobs in poor and disadvantaged communities. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Soles4Souls is committed to the highest standards of operating and governance, and holds a four-star rating with Charity Navigator.Visit for more information.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Secret of the Purloined Bracelet

My latest mystery is available on Kindle...FREE for a very limited time. Check it out and let me know what you think.

This is the link:

Monday, November 9, 2015

Parque de Bombas

Built as the main exhibit pavilion for the 1882 Exhibition Trade Fair, it then had a life as the fire station in Ponce for over 100 years. Now, it's a museum dedicated to Ponce's firemen.

Check out the Moorish influence.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Ponce or San Juan?

Most people immediately think of San Juan when you mention you're traveling to Puerto Rico. Most of the time, they would be correct.

Recently, we did travel to San Juan. But, we included a trip to the south side of the island and visited Ponce and the area surrounding it.

I'll tell you about the mountains, driving, meeting a huge semi on a one and a half lane road...and more. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Wake Up in Paris and Hit the Streets

For an amazing view of Paris, head to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Be sure to purchase your tickets on line before you go to avoid long lines.

Take a tour around the Arc de Triomphe.

Spend some time in the Galeries Lafayette. Don't forget to check out all the ceilings, stained glass, and art deco.