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Author: Janice Nieder

Get Cultured in the Wild West at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, Big Sky, Montana

The Back-story: Joan and I, two girlfriends on the dark side of 50, had made plans to meet in Big Sky, Montana, to explore the Wild West in luxurious style and discover the answer to Life’s Big Question, “If we stand under the Big Sky, will our butts looks smaller?” We also couldn’t wait for our maiden visit to Yellowstone Park. The Problem: We arrived right after the *!@#$%^&* Government closed all the National parks! The Perfect 2-part Solution: 1. Luckily we were booked for a superb R & R getaway at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, where a wilderness stay...

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An Undiscovered Paradise: Inn at Park Winters, Ca.

Many San Franciscan’s come for the afternoon to explore the unbelievably cute town of Winters, California, complete with a John Boy Walton town square, white gazebo, flowering  parks, quaint historic homes, a coupe of delish restaurants (The Buckhorn and Putah Creek Cafe were my favorites) and at least four wine tasting rooms and head back home at the end of the day, which is a BIG mistake! For an absolutely perfect overnight or two, may I strongly suggest (ok-let me say you’d have to be a complete idiot to stay anywhere else) the Inn at Park Winters. The Inn...

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Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam Fit for Royalty

by Janice Nieder I recently received a stellar invite to join a small group on the  christening river cruise of the Avalon Expression. We’d begin in Frankfurt and end in Amsterdam and jackpot, I could bring along a plus one. I immediately thought of my BFF, Joan, a single working mother, who, although she had purchased a passport about 10 years ago,  never had the chance to use it.  I decided her  pristine passport also needed christening. A quick phone call later and the plan was set. After the cruise we would stay at the Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam Hotel ...

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Avalon Gets My Vote for Queen of the River Cruise

Just between us I feel it’s only fair to let you know that when I first received my invitation to join a group of journalists for the christening of the Avalon Expression I was a little hesitant, since I’ve never been a big fan of ocean cruises…actually, it’s fair to say I pretty much detest everything about them.  But since every trade magazine I’ve read lately has been about the explosive growth in the river-cruise market I decided to take one for the team and give it a try.  Fast forward to one week after my return and I...

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Move Over Boys, There’s a New Kid on the Block: The Oberoi, Dubai

The newest Oberoi, Dubai With approximately 600 hotels vying for your attention in Dubai, just about the last thing they need is a new hotel…unless, of course, it belongs to The Oberoi Group, synonymous with the finest level of contemporary luxury and service. Oberoi’s first property in the UAE, The Oberoi Dubai, which opened last month, is all about height, light and space. The 252 spacious rooms and suites boast floor-to-ceiling windows, with spectacular views of the city skyline. Just part of the Presidential Suite Timber floors, rich fabrics, hand-tufted rugs and specially commissioned artwork further accentuate the elegance...

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Stylish Stay in Exciting Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh could be the sister wife of my hometown, San Francisco. It’s compact, imminently walkable, vertically challenged (like Rome and S.F., Edinburgh is built on seven hills) and packed with tourist attractions, ergo packed with tourists.  It is neatly divided into two camps. Old Town is all about historic sights, lively pubs, tourist shops, atmospheric spires, gargoyles, and medieval cobbled streets crisscrossed with hidden wynds and closes (little alleys that offer marvelous secret walks).  New Town, considered a masterpiece of city planning, which retains much of its original Georgian period architecture, is lined with fabulous shops, eateries and communal...

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Wondrous Walking Tour of England’s Lake District

Grasmere, Coniston, Windermere…if they were three high school girls running for prettiest prom queen, it would be tough call as to who would win. And these were just a few of the many idyllic Lake District villages we visited. William Wordsworth portrays his beloved homeland as: “Majesty, and beauty and repose, A blended holiness of earth and sky.” Letting some of my new walking buds join me;-) The problem with this area is that it’s all so breathtakingly gorgeous, so undeniably natural, so unique with its constantly changing terrain, that you really need to spend at least a week...

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Glam Girlfriend Getaway: Keswick Hall at Monticello

Keswick Hall Update: Keswick Hall is currently under renovations in 2018 and will reopen in 2019. Please enjoy the original article previously published. Upon entering the intimate 48-room mansion, my sister and I felt like we were visiting a (very well off) friend’s country estate instead of checking into a hotel. Over 100 years old, with a rather checkered past, Keswick Hall is “one lady who’s aged marvelously well.” Originally built in 1912, this sumptuous, 8,000 square foot Italianate estate snuggled in 200 acres of prime Virginia countryside, was known as the Villa Crawford. The property changed hands and purposes...

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Good Enough for Rolls-Royce, Manchester’s Midland Hotel

  Sophisticated, cultural, trendy, exciting, glamorous are all adjectives one might use to describe London, but Manchester? Absolutely, which comes as no surprise to Mancunians, who are bursting with pride over their newly fashionable city which has two of England’s best football clubs, spit-polished grand old stone buildings, the award-winning $200 million Lowry Center filled with exciting galleries, theaters and eateries, upscale loft developments, the inspiring Museum of Science and Industry, etc. Sleep The Midland Hotel, a four-star, historic railroad hotel opened to great acclaim in 1903, when it was described as a “twentieth century palace” due to its opulent...

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CLEAR Could Help You Get to the Spa Faster

CLEAR-ly this smart woman is a CLEAR customer What can you do in under five minutes?  Put on mascara and run a comb through your hair, microwave popcorn, run a tenth of a mile, speed through airport security … say whaaaat? Yup, you read me correctly. CLEAR is a fantastic program that lets you zip through airline security faster than a speeding bullet or, at the bare minimum, in under five minutes. This is the hottest thing to hit travel since wheels on a suitcase. When you join CLEAR you’ll laugh like a crazy person when you arrive at...

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