Author: Jill Weinlein

The Luxe Life in Las Vegas at Vdara Hotel

Share: Checking into the Vdara Hotel, I was pleasantly surprised to walk into the lobby and not smell cigarette smoke. Vdara is one of the few hotels on the Strip that has no casino and is a non-smoking hotel. As I unlocked the door to my Vdara’s Studio Parlor suite, I noticed a large kitchenette and three spacious rooms. With floor to ceiling windows, the suite has million-dollar views of Vegas and the surrounding Red Rock mountains. What is appealing is the dividing wall separating the living room and bedroom with a comfortable king-size, pillow-top bed. There are two...

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Four Seasons Westlake: So Near, Yet So Far From LA

Share: The Southern California Four Seasons Westlake is a great halfway spot between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. From Los Angeles it’s about a 40-minute drive north, if you time the traffic right. Owner billionaire American businessman and philanthropist David Murdock built the resort was after losing his mother and later his wife Gabriele to cancer. Murdock focused on helping researchers find a cure for the disease, while extending life through wellness and nutrition. He  established the Dole Nutrition Institute, and in 2006 opened the California Health and Longevity Institute and Four Seasons Westlake. Walking inside, one feels as if...

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Napa and Sonoma Valley Wine 101

Share: While exploring Napa Valley and Sonoma, my companion and I stopped at three wineries, and received a crash course in Wine Tasting 101. Guess what state in the United States makes the most wine?  California makes 90% of the wine in the U.S.  It takes about six or eight clusters to fill a wine bottle; that’s approximately 600 to 800 wine grapes, or about 2.4 lbs. of grapes. One barrel of wine contains about 740 lbs. of grapes or 24.6 cases of wine. In a bottle of sparkling wine, there are about 44 million bubbles in a bottle. Best...

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Yountville: California’s Culinary Capital

Share: Strolling along the sidewalks of Yountville, one soon notices this is the culinary capital of Napa Valley. The 1.5-mile-long town offers more Michelin stars per capita than any other destination in California. The restaurants of esteemed celebrity chefs Michael Chiarello, Philippe Jeanty, Thomas Keller and Richard Reddington have attracted an international foodie crowd for years.  Three Michelin stars have been awarded to The French Laundry and one star for Bouchon, Bistro Jeanty and Redd. What I discovered is that not only is Michael Chiarello a chef, sustainable farmer, vintner and television host, his popular Italian restaurant Bottega offers bold Italian...

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Only the Best for our Furry Friends

Share: When my little terrier rescue, Ginger, came down with a horrible bacterial infection that caused open sores all over her body, her veterinarian diagnosed her with possibly have a canine form of leprosy. She was so sick that the only thing she would attempt to eat was homemade food. I’d steam rice and a few carrots, boil chicken and cut them into small pieces before mixing them all together. This home-cooked dog food nourished her and helped keep her alive while she was taking massive doses of antibiotics. She survived, and I stopped making her special meals. Instead,...

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