19Nov

A True Travel Adventure: Paddle Boarding on the Salt River

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  While recently on a visit to Mesa, Arizona, I was taken on a real adventure: paddle boarding on the Salt River.  I will admit upfront that I did not stand up on the board like you're supposed to.  When we arrived, I was ready to stand up and paddle but was advised by the instructor that the winds were pretty bad and she didn't recommend it as a first-timer.  Looking back, I wish I had tried, but I really enjoyed riding around the river in the middle of the desert on my knees. I took deep breaths, ogled at my surroundings and as I thought about Read More

18Nov

Didn’t I Tell You to Listen to Your Mother?

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  It's hard to believe that just about a year ago, Listen to Your Mother entered my life. It was so life changing and magnetic that I wrote about it again and again and again and again and again. In one post, I wrote: I enjoyed every waking minute of it and nourished the experience.  Words can not even express how grateful I was to be a part of it.  I kept thinking that the chance of ever working on a NYC stage production again in my lifetime was slim, so I’d better make the most of it.  And I did. I also wrote: So, would I do it Read More

17Nov

A Culinary Tour of Phoenix and Mesa

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First, let me get one thing straight.  I am not a food aficionado.  I have never lived to eat and my eating tastes are narrow.  That is why on my recent trip to Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, I was shocked to see myself turn into a foodie in the course of the five days I was there. I looked fervently eager to each meal and felt the urge to devour everything that was put in front of me. The food in Phoenix/Mesa is fresh, innovative and mouth-watering.  And I'm from New York, where I've always declared the food is the best in the world!  Go figure. We started Read More

15Nov

Saying “Namaste” to Nature in the Sonoran Desert

Usery Mountain Regional Park

On my recent trip to the Mesa Valley in Arizona, I was blessed with a yoga class in the Sonoran Desert at Usery Mountain Regional Park.  And you know what, yoga in the desert is as dreamy as it sounds!  Misty Campeau, our instructor, decided that it was too chilly that morning to do the class outside but we had the most tremendous view from our room and it truly was Namaste in nature.  Campeau's motto is "You must be the change you wish to see the World" (a'la Mahatma Ghandi).  The facility offers all-levels of yoga daily and were created to ensure Read More

14Nov

Chocolate, Chiles and Plenty of Cacti at the Desert Botanical Garden

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This past week I was fortunate to be invited to explore the Desert Botanical Garden while visiting the city of Phoenix, Arizona.  Located in Papago Park, not far from downtown Phoenix, the park is a local gem for any visitor either living in the area or coming from another place, like me.  A “Phoenix Point of Pride,” it's one of only a few botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. And it feels like a museum!  The 20,000 plants from around the world represent 3,931 plant classifications in 139 plant families.  They accurately Read More

13Nov

Ticking an Item off the Bucket List: Hot Air Ballooning in Phoenix, Arizona

hot air ballooning in phoenix arizona

Riding in a hot air balloon as always been on the very top of my bucket list, and I've been dreaming about the experience for years.  So when I was recently visiting the state of Arizona and had the opportunity to go on a sunrise trip, I jumped.  Little did I know that I would have a revelation in the air.  Let me tell you about the flight first. The trip took place above the Sonoran Desert.  I dragged my partner in crime, RoseAnna Schick,  who was not so keen on waking up so early and who had gone previously in Australia.  We were on a very early Read More

13Nov

A Bit of England at High Tea at the Ritz Carlton in Phoenix

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How do you hold your cup of tea? Do you lift your saucer and insert your pinky through the handle of the tea cup? Little did I know before I had high tea at the Ritz Carlton in Phoenix on Saturday afternoon that I would learn the true way to hold my cup and experience an Afternoon Tea right out of England.  Yes, I do go to the UK every year and I do get served a lot of tea when I'm there, but I haven't mastered the art of high tea.  I was in for a big surprise at High Tea at the Ritz. The Ritz is as elegant as it gets and you can't beat the Read More

12Nov

The Heard Museum in Phoenix: Colorful, Illuminating and Historical

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Yesterday I went to the Heard Museum, a museum dedicated to the myriad cultures and art of Native Americans of the Southwest.  I have to admit that my knowledge of this diverse and large group of people is narrow and I was eager to explore the museum and take it all in.  Open since 1929 and located right downtown, the Heard is not only a history lesson but it's a salute and homage to Native Americans.  It also gives Indian artists a place to display their work.  We happened to be there during an outdoors Spanish Market, a large festival displaying work Read More

11Nov

Staying in the Heart of Phoenix

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Like every other New Yorker, I've had a tough few weeks.  First I was sick for a week.  Then along came Hurricane Sandy which took away our power for 10 days and certainly didn't help me heal quickly.  Then we got hit with a snow storm.  Back in August, I met the people from the Greater Phoenix and Mesa Convention & Visitors Bureau and they invited me on a press trip that was set to take place this weekend.  I was never going to cancel but I have wondered how I would actually ever get myself here this weekend. But yesterday at 5am, I left my house Read More

10Nov

A Glow in the Dark Theatrical Experience of Eric Carle’s Treasured Stories

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar is my all-time favorite childhood book. Similarly, my son is partial to Eric Carle and is a huge fan of Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See and From Head to Toe. So I jumped at the opportunity to take my son for a special "back screen pass" to Treasured Stories by Eric Carle at The Symphony Space today. Located on the Upper West Side, this was our first time to The Symphony Space (Broadway & 95th Street) Darren Critz, Director of Family Programs, explained, "Going to see the arts is easy to do. Families can roll Read More