Best Up-Close Animal Encounters

Serengeti National Park

This week Cecil the Lion made news when American hunter Walter Palmer baited and killed Zimbabwe’s beloved human-loving lion illegally on private land. To say Tim and I are saddened and outraged in an understatement. We’ve been on safarai, and even if we hadn’t, we just can’t fathom how anyone could kill our majestic and […]

5 Things to Do in Bucharest

Things to do in Bucharest

Bucharest and I were like my college boyfriends. We had enough things in common to get along for a short bit, but somehow it just didn’t really work. It would never be true love. Frankly, I found Bucharest to be mediocre at best. The food was bland, the buildings were crumbling (and not in a […]

Sipping Saint-Émilion Grand Cru at Château Cantenac

Château Cantenac Saint Emilion

Bordeaux is France’s largest fine wine region in both production and vineyard acreage, with over 9000 producers and 60 Bordeaux appellations recognized by the AOC (the Appellation d’Origine Controlle). Saint-Émilion, both a town and appellation in the Bordeaux, has a history that dates back to Roman times and is the oldest still active wine producing […]

Craco: The Crumbling Italian Ghost Town

Craco, Italy

Mounds rose up on either side of the deserted road. We hadn’t seen another car for well over an hour as we drove toward Craco, Italy. “It looks like Texas,” my Texan friend Leah Travels remarked. I haven’t spent much time in Texas other than to fly through Houston Intercontinental Airport, but it looked like […]

Exploring Bordeaux with Viking River Cruises

Bordeaux Water Mirror

In the words of HM The Queen, Bordeaux is “the very essence of elegance.” It’s a revived cosmopolitan city at the center of a legendary wine growing region. With modern fusion cuisine, some of the world’s finest wines, culture like theater and art museums, and skiing, stunning beaches and hiking all within 2 – 3 […]

Italy’s Best Kept Secret: The Cilento Coast


The Cilento Coast is one of the most unspoiled parts of the Campania region and it’s just two hours south of the chaos of Naples. Yet, this part of Italy is still hugely off the tourist radar. With hardly a blip about Cilento in the guide books, American and British travelers flock to the popular […]

Blend Your Own Cognac at Camus Cognac

Camus Cognac

Cognac isn’t just an after-dinner drink. It’s a charming town in the Poitou-Charentes region of southwestern France, where I’m told the sun shines no less than 330 days of the year. Though I would have loved to spend time wandering the town, which gives its name to one of the world’s most famous types of […]

Making Macarons in Paris

Making macarons in Paris with Cook'n with Class

Macarons are one of my favorite things in the world. There’s just something about the colorful meringue cookies with luscious fillings like black currant or strawberry sandwiched between them that I simply can’t resist. I’m hardly ever in France for more than a few hours before I have a little bag of macarons stashed in […]

5 Summer Festivals Not to Miss in Northern Italy

Venice Festa del Redentore

It’s the first day of summer and while the temperatures may be sweltering in Northern Italy, I’m still excited summer has finally arrived. It’s the season of some of my favorite festivals. Here are 5 summer festivals not to miss in Northern Italy: Festa del Redentore Originally a celebration to give thanks for the end […]