Chic Travel Guide: Bright Lights Paris

Bright Lights ParisIf you are planning to visit Paris or just love dreaming about this oh so chic destination, I have a must-read book to share with you today. It’s called Bright Lights Paris: Shop, Dine & Live Parisian Style by Angie Niles. It’s filled with stunning photos and lovely fashion illustrations plus fabulous tips from celebrities, fashion designers, bloggers, chefs, and more. Continue reading “Chic Travel Guide: Bright Lights Paris”

Five Things: NYC

If I had to choose one layover as my all-time favorite, it would be NYC. I enjoy the food scene, shopping, and Broadway shows.

This weekend I had a long layover in Long Island. I hopped on board the Long Island Railroad. The train is a convenient way to travel to Manhattan from Long Island. The trains run once an hour, and the ride is 1 hour and 15 minutes from Central Islip to Penn Station. It costs $25 for a round trip ticket. Most hotels provide shuttle service to the train stations in Long Island. Uber is also available on Long Island.

Here are 5 things I enjoyed in NYC.

Senza Gluten

{Senza Gluten}

1.  SENZA GLUTEN: First on my agenda was an early dinner at Senza Gluten. Senza Gluten is a new 100% gluten-free restaurant in Greenwich Village. I ordered the Margherita pizza made with San Marzano tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, and extra virgin olive oil. San Marzano are the best tomatoes. It was as good as the gluten-free pizza in Italy. The restaurant has a lovely ambiance. I sat outside but took a peek inside and the interior seating has a rustic vibe. The service was excellent. The owner made a point to introduce herself to me and asked my thoughts on the meal. I recommend making a reservation due to the restaurant’s popularity. 

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My Favorite Travel Apps

Travel AppsHere are a few of my favorite travel apps to help with the travel experience. Leave me a comment and let me know your favorite apps too. I’m always looking for new finds!


Evernote helps keep all your ideas, notes, documents, URL’s and more all in one place.  Free iOS, Android

Pack Point generates a customized list of items you should pack. Free iOS, Android

Hipmunk compares the top travel sites to find the best hotel and flight deals. Free iOS, Android

World Mate helps you plan your trip. Free iOS, Android

TripIt syncs your flight confirmations, hotel reservations and more in your calendar. Simply send your travel confirmation emails to [email protected] and TripIt automatically creates a detailed daily itinerary for every trip. Free iOS, Android, WP

Drop Box saves files from your computer in an online account for later access anywhere in the world. Free iOS, Android, WP Continue reading “My Favorite Travel Apps”

Richmond Travel Guide


Richmond Capitol

I am crazy about Richmond, Virginia. I think you will be too!

The capital city of Virginia is not only a historical destination but a wonderful place to explore the outdoors, dine, and shop.

Richmond is famous for donuts, coffee shops, Southern cuisine, street art, outdoor trails, Christmas lights, magnificent architecture, and cool shopping.

Richmond locals will make you feel right at home. I love the Southern hospitality and the mouth-watering Southern cuisine.

My Richmond travel guide includes the top must-do things to plan your next visit.

What are some of your favorite places to visit in Richmond?  Leave your responses in the comment section.  


Tarrant’s Cafe is my favorite restaurant in Richmond. It is not just a meal but an experience. I recommend the Shrimp and Grits or She crab soup. *V *GF

Brenner Pass  brings the flavors of the alps to the plate. You will likely need a reservation.

The Roosevelt is a highly acclaimed restaurant in Richmond. I really like the dessert menu featuring coca cola cake, peanut butter pie, foie gras pound cake, and nutella gelato.

Proper Pie Co. brings the New Zealand-style savory pie to RVA. The menu changes daily.  V*

Stella’s is the best Greek restaurant in RVA.

Julep’s is a romantic Southern inspired upscale restaurant. Perfect for a date night. Very romantic atmosphere.

Dots Back Inn serves diner classics in a vintage themed café and featured on Diners, Drive Inns, and Dives.

Impanima is the best Vegetarian restaurant in RVA. *V *GF

Buz and Ned’s is the famous barbecue joint featured on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Pick up some of the famous barbecue sauce for a souvenir or gift. *GF

Kuba Kuba is a Cuban-Spanish restaurant featured on the Food Network. The Picadillo Empanadas and Tres Leches Cake are popular menu times.

8 1/2 is a delicious take out Italian restaurant.

Daily Kitchen serves organic fare. *GF *V

Sally Bell’s Kitchen is a Richmond institution. It is a lunch box menu and bakery. Inside each box  you’ll find a sandwich (pimento cheese is popular) on fresh bread; a cup of creamy potato salad topped with a pickle chip; a cheese biscuit; a deviled egg; and—the prize—an upside-down cupcake, frosting covering the sides and bottom. Perfect for a picnic at one of Richmond’s outdoor parks.

Coppola’s Deli is a popular lunch spot serving N.Y. style deli sandwiches.

Urban Farmhouse Market and Cafe is a coffee shop and farm to table restaurant. *V *GF

Lulu’s is an eclectic restaurant in an old warehouse. The mac and cheese is a popular dish on the menu.

Millie’s is a Richmond brunch staple. Arrive early to avoid long lines or try the lunch menu weekdays. *GF

Mama J’s is a soul food diner. Chef Velma Johnson makes the most superb catfish nuggets, yams, and incredible, pork-free, vegetarian collard greens. *V

Edo’s Squid is a fancy Italian hot spot. *GF

Burger Bach is a New Zealand inspired burger pub.



South of James Market is the best farmer’s market in RVA on Saturday mornings.

Elwood Thompson’s is an organic grocery store. The juice bar is popular. *GF *V



WP Bakery is a little gem serving pastries, pies, cookies, and other treats. Lots of vegan and gluten-free options. The only bakery offering gluten-free donuts in town. *GF *V

Pearl’s Cupcake Shop is the best cupcake shop in RVA.

Sugar Shack Donuts is one of the best donut shops in the country.

Shydigz is an adorable dessert café. Great for after dinner desserts and a hot toddy.

Sub Rosa Bakery is an authentic French bakery. The chocolate croissants are popular.

For the Love of Chocolate is a candy shop.

Country Style Donuts is an old fashion donut shop open 24 hours. Locals from all over the state visit the shop.

Mrs. Yodar’s Family Donuts is a family run donut food truck. The sourdough donut is the most popular.



Black Hand Coffee is a no frills coffee shop serving a good cup of joe.

Sugar & Twine is a coffee shop and bakery in Cary Town.

Alchemy Coffee makes the best lattes and cappuccinos.

Rostov’s Coffee and Tea is the oldest coffee and tea shop in town. They roast their own beans and offer a huge assortment of teas.

Lamplighter Coffee is known for their cold pressed drinks.

Lift Coffee is the cutest coffee shop.

Lemaire’s is a fancy restaurant in the historic Jefferson Hotel. The Jefferson Julep is the signature beverage. You will feel like a Southern Belle in this hotel with the Gone With the Wind style staircase.

Maple & Pine has really good cocktails.



Virginia State Capitol  is a great spot for photographs.  Don’t miss the statue of George Washington.

Maymont is a 100 acre Victorian estate and public park. You can spend an entire day here strolling the gardens and other activities. Children love the petting zoo. Great for photographers. Lovely spot for a picnic.

Edgar Allan Poe Museum is popular for literature enthusiasts. The museum features Poe’s manuscripts, letters, first editions, memorabilia, pictures, relics, and personal belongings.

Virginia War Memorial  honors Virginia veterans of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War.

Virginia Holocaust Museum includes an exhibition about the family story of Holocaust survivor Jay M. Ipson.

St. John’s Church is where Patrick Henry gave his closing speech at the Second Virginia Conventions with the famous quotation “give me liberty or give me death.”

Children’s Museum of Richmond is great for the little ones.

Virginia  Museum of Fine Arts houses a permanent collection of American Impressionists.

Lewis Bitner Botantical Gardens is one of the top botanical gardens in the country. Don’t miss the  Garden Fest Holiday of Lights.

Hollywood Cemetery sounds creepy but provides the best view of the James River and city of Richmond.



Carytown is a funky street nicknamed “Mile of Style” where you can dine and shop.

Modern Richmond Tour features architectural tours each month.

Richmond Canal Cruise on the James River is a 40 minute boat ride with a tour guide discussing Richmond history.

Byrd Theater is popular for $2 second run movies.

Brown’s Island is a hot spot for Richmond festival and music events.

First Fridays RVA  is a monthly art stroll.

Greenleaf’s Pool Hall is a fancy pool hall open late.

The Camel is a live music venue serving food and drinks.

Richmond Food Tour includes a walking tour of Richmond neighborhoods that includes food sampling.

Richmond’s Craft and Design Show is a great event for Christmas shopping held annually in November.



Sweet Clementine is a designer women’s consignment boutique.

Mongrel is a quirky card and gift shop.

Na Nin is a women’s vintage clothing boutique.

Izzie’s is a home decor and furniture consignment shop.

Ledbury is a stylish men’s shop selling well-fitted and high quality shirts.

Fab’rik is a women’s boutique selling trendy clothing at affordable prices.

Need Supply is the best place to buy denim.

Ashby is a consignment shop for hip used clothing.

Glass Boat is a locally owned boutique similar to Anthropology.

Traveling Chic Boutique is a contemporary women’s fashion boutique.

Shockoe Denim sells jeans made by hand in the store.

Diversity Thrift is the largest used clothing and home goods store in Richmond.

By Gones is one the best vintage boutiques in RVA.

Roan is a luxury women’s boutique.

U Fab is the top fabric store in the state. Check out the bargain remnants.

Fountain Bookstore  is an independent bookstore.

World of Mirth is a toy store for kids of all ages.



James River Park features a rock climbing wall.

Riverside Outfitters offers white water rafting excursions.

Virginia Capitol Trail is a 13 mile trail for running, walking, and biking.

Liberty Trail is a 6.2 self guided trail featuring 15 National Historic Landmarks.

Belle Isle is a 54 acre park to walk, jog, or bike.

Pony Pasture is one of Richmond’s most popular spots for sunbathing on the large granite boulders.



Jefferson Hotel is an elegant upscale hotel.

Quirk Hotel is an art deco hotel.

Berkeley Hotel is a classic hotel offering traditional accommodations.

North Bend Plantation is a charming bed and breakfast. You can also tour the home and grounds.

Linden Row Inn is a boutique hotel composed of seven adjoining nineteenth-century townhouses.

What are some of your favorite places to visit in Richmond? Leave your responses in the comment section.

Philadelphia Travel Guide

Philly Love Sign

Philadelphia is famous for the Liberty Bell, Rocky Balboa, and Cheesesteaks. The City of Brotherly Love is also the birthplace of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Philadelphia is home to many national treasures, a thriving culinary scene, beautiful parks, hip shopping, and a bustling sports scene. Don’t forget to pack an extra bag for shopping. All clothing and shoe purchases are tax-free. My Philadelphia travel guide includes the top must-do things to plan your next visit.

Continue reading “Philadelphia Travel Guide”