Chances are if you are traveling in Maine, you will pass through Portland, the state’s largest city. But is it a good place to stick around if you are gluten free? This was my third visit to Portland but my first in the eight years I’ve been gluten free! I have to say, the gluten free Portland Maine scene totally surpassed my expectations, and months later I still dream of some of the meals I had here.
Quebec City is a magical place, no matter the season… but it’s particularly special in winter. You can trust me on that one. I just got back from my fourth trip to Quebec City and have now experienced it in all seasons! We wondered at the flutterings of the season’s first snowfall, bathed outdoors in a Nordic spa, and cuddled up inside with hot mulled cider. As I discovered, there are plenty of things to do in Quebec City in winter.
This was my fourth visit to Quebec City, a place that has long had a special spot in my heart. How can I describe Quebec City to you? At the top of a steep hill, you find yourself in a pocket of fairytale French architecture, surrounded by cobbled streets and castles. But are there gluten free Quebec City options, or is this a fairytale you’ll go hungry in?
If you’re gluten free, you need to get to Vancouver, Canada stat. The gluten free Vancouver scene is on fire. (And to convince your non-gluten free travel companions, just give them promises of gorgeous sunsets overlooking the city skyline, iconic suspension bridges, perfectly roasted coffee, and mountains within 30 minutes of the city center…. ahhh, take me back to Vancouver!).
I love exploring my home state of Michigan, which is how I found myself sitting in a vintage Ford Model A in Detroit last November. But let’s rewind – I want to introduce you all to the absolute most unique tour in Detroit: Antique Touring. If you are headed to Detroit this summer or fall (and I hope my love for this city can convince you to!), then you seriously need to book this tour in Detroit.
I grip the handle tightly in borrowed mittens. Through thick ice fishing boots I feel my feet wobble on the tire-treads of the sled runners. Breathe. In and out. Ahead of me five dogs pull their lines taut and stare intently at our guide, Kyle’s, sled in front of us — they’re waiting for his signal. My friend Mary sits as a rider in Kyle’s sled. But me, I’m driving my own sled. I didn’t expect to be this nervous for Michigan dog sledding. But here I am, quite literally shaking in my (giant) boots. The long list of Kyle’s instructions swivel through my head: Feet on the tire treads. One foot on the drag pedal to slow. Stomp on the claw brake to stop. Keep the dog’s lines tight. And whatever you do, don’t let go if (when) you fall.
When in Grand Rapids, Michigan, you need to stay somewhere grand. And really, in Michigan’s second biggest city, there is no better option than the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. This historic and luxurious riverside hotel is well known among us Michiganders. Personally, I’d wandered its halls at Art Prize festivals past, or walked the skywalk that connects the Amway Grand to neighboring buildings (it’s useful in a Michigan winter… trust). But I’d never actually stayed at the Amway Grand… until our recent visit to Grand Rapids with Experience Grand Rapids!*
It was travel that introduced me to the magic of day spas. From the baths in Bath, England, to the hammams in Marrakech, I was easily converted to this type of wellness tourism. Not only do day spas give you a respite from jet lag or travel-related stress, but you get a peek into local traditions. So when my friend Amanda, who I met up with in NYC, sent me a photo of a rooftop infinity pool with views of the Manhattan skyline… I knew we had to go! Meet Sojo Spa Club, the best Korean spa in NYC, that’s well, not actually in NYC.