Dining Outside the Home: Hilton Garden Inn Pavilion Lounge on Wailua Bay, Kauai

Dining Outside the Home: Hilton Garden Inn Pavilion Lounge on Wailua Bay, Kauai. You’re always on holiday here glamorously soaking up the rays and sipping on tropical Mai Tais, garnished with mellow paper umbrellas, at the edge of turquoise seas. Is this real, you wonder? Pinch me if I’m dreaming. But don’t wake me. Please. Instead “Hang Loose” with aloha spirit. Absorb the open-air lounge that is true Hawaii. Order a side of Crispy Popcorn Shrimp garnished with seaweed furikake, for starters. The Paniola Burger topped with chipotle pineapple and applewood bacon drizzled with barbecue sauce can come later. After all, you have all the time in the world. Let the seasoned bartenders introduce you to their crafted cocktails. They have a story to tell.

Manchester-by-the-Sea is a Charmer

You probably know the Massachusetts village by an Oscar-winning film of the same name that awakened the rest of the world to this sleepy little fishing community. But Manchester-by-the-Sea has been around since 1645. Located along the north shore of Massachusetts Bay, where quaint summer cottages become the coveted home-away-from-home for a season, history is still being made. Such notables include a poet, author, actor, politician, comedian, professional golfer, radio talk show host, and more. The town has several points of interest, like Singing Beach, that adds enough allure to keep people flocking back. Unless of course, you’re one of the fortunate ones who get to live there. 

See and Experience 30 Rock

A Statue of Atlas on Fifth Avenue will immediately grab your attention before raising your eyes to the 872-foot tower beyond the sunken plaza. This is Rockefeller Center, or more commonly referred to as 30 Rock. It has become a focal point and popular gathering place over the years, especially at Christmastime. You’ll also recognize Rockefeller Center by the 200 flagpoles surrounding the plaza at street level. Taking center stage is the gilded Statue of Prometheus, which practically glows on fire. But that’s only the beginning. Colorful gardens, unique shops, international cafés, art and history, rooftop tours, and more make this national landmark truly memorable. 
“I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.” ~ John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

New York by Water

Did you know the Staten Island Ferry is a free boat ride that gives one of the most memorable views, by water, of the New York City skyline? Because the ferry commutes back and forth between Manhattan and Staten Island, round the clock, it’s one of the most popular Harbor Cruises by tourists and residents alike. Check out the majestic Statue of Liberty, skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan, and Ellis Island. Be prepared to stand for the view. After all, remember, it’s free. It’s also unforgettable. 

Lowcountry is Whole Other World

Take a seat on the balcony to greet the indescribable sunrise as joggers leave footprints in the sand on an invigorating morning run. Catch a bird’s eye view of yoga enthusiasts communing with nature, enriching body and soul. Meticulous gardeners groom ornamental flower beds with flawless precision for an impeccable stroll on the way to the pool. Marvel at rich island history, native culture, local artwork, Lowcountry cuisine, and beachfront recreation pressed into twelve miles of nonstop beauty along the Atlantic Ocean. This million dollar view is as pristine as a tropical paradise. Welcome to Hilton Head Island, a South Carolina resort town and coastal haven for the travel enthusiast. 

If Chihuahuas Could Talk

Just like people, I suspect not every dog automatically loves the beach. Take a chihuahua, for instance. Typically, they enjoy being cuddled, carried around in the crook of a young lady’s arm, or nestled in a canvas bag above the crosswalk of heavy footsteps. While rambling barefoot along the oceanfront this morning, I passed a gal sunbathing on a blue striped towel. She didn’t seem to mind reclining close to the shoreline beyond the reach of crashing waves. Like a sleep number bed, the sandy beach conformed to her body shape. The Winter sun was brightly shining. Although the temperature was rising, the cooling sea breezes felt refreshing. About six feet away the tiny brown dog was sitting with a look of displeasure on its face. One paw was raised above the beach as if to keep the fine, loose grains from getting between its toes. It slowly turned in my direction, blinked its eyes, and shifted uncomfortably as though a few light brownish pebbles had already lodged into the derrière folds of its short fur bottom. I could practically read the chihuahua’s thoughts:”This is ridiculous!”

“How much longer are we going to be here?”

“I’m thirsty and this ocean water tastes like salt.”

“I have sand in my ears.”

“I have sand between my toes.”

“I have sand in my butt cheeks.”

“And I want to go home!”

If only chihuahuas could talk. 

Millennial Pool Chair Thieves Lack Respect 

Me, me, me. I want it, I deserve it, I’m gonna take it. Everyone who travels to a 5-star beach resort understands about pool etiquette. Senior citizens get it. Adolescent boys are taught it. Generation Xers understand it. Respect, Regard, Refrain. Pool security guards expect it…because there are distinct clues. Those who take the time to visit the staff at the Towel Hut, receive the day’s color-coded wristbands, arrange two chaise loungers under a patio umbrella, and neatly fold the beach towels so they meet in the middle, are clear indications that “These chairs are taken”. In many resorts, the Pool Manager even goes so far as to lay out towel-covered cushions over a chaise lounger placed in the shade of a patio umbrella hours before an elderly guest needs it. So why is it that a couple of Millennials have the audacity to scoop the beach towels off the chairs of their choosing, toss them in a heap, and plop themselves down as if “Entitlement” is their middle name? Where do they think they are? On an All-Inclusive Party Boat where chair hoggers are known to greedily grab more chairs than they need? News flash: the ones who placed the towels there initially ARE going to show up. And they will not be pleased with your rude actions! So don’t pretend you’re asleep or cast your eyes away as if you’ve done nothing wrong. Grow up, learn how to respect others, and learn about etiquette. Because in the end, you “reap what you sow, more than you sow, later than you sow.” Do the right thing. Then you won’t have to spend the remainder of your vacation looking over your shoulder. Rant over!

Maybe Alice Had the Right Idea 

Like Alice down the rabbit hole, the car slid south on a narrow road to a destination unknown. It became enveloped by a tunnel of ancient eucalyptus trees with heavily gnarled trunks and towering limbs that appeared to darken the cloudless sky. Beyond the tunnel…long thick grasses, fragrant blooming shrubs, and massive monkeypod trees finally revealed Old Koloa Town when the rough winding road finally came to a “T”. Before us lay a vibrant past of plantation life now transformed into enchanting art galleries, unique gift shops, and charming eateries specializing in cultural foods. Maybe Alice had the right idea after all.