Blogger McLean Robbins

Introducing another new blogger at Gadling, McLean Robbins. . .

Where was your photo taken: Los Cabos, Mexico at Capella Pedregal resort. I was on a trip to scout the best spas of the Baja California area.

Where do you live now: Arlington, Virginia. It’s less than five miles from the White House!

Scariest airline flown: You’d think a travel writer would love to fly, but I can’t stand it – I’m scared of both heights and enclosed spaces. I’m also a bit OCD, so I’ll reserve my seat as far in advance (and as close to the front of the plane) as possible. I usually take a sleeping pill so that I’m nice and relaxed by the time the plane taxis down the runway. That moment when the plane reaches cruising altitude and the engines sound infinitely quieter? It’s always pure terror. Still, I always request a window seat – I like to see the ground beneath me. First class upgrades are even better. Cocktails, please!

Favorite city/country/place: Telluride, Colorado. During my last visit, we had three feet of snow in three days and some of the best skiing weather of the season. Standing at 10,000 feet in pure, white silence felt like heaven.

Most remote corner of the globe visited: Lake Como, Italy. The lakeside towns feel like a true Italian paradise. If you can visit, be sure to book a local guide to take you on a boat tour, preferably on a vintage Riva (the preferred boat of George Clooney). Those watermen know all the best gossip!

Favorite guidebook series: I’d prefer to scour travel blogs (like Gadling!) prior to my visit and pick up local magazines and newspapers in the airport, but when all else fails – the Frommers and LUXE Guides are great starting points.

Dream travel destination: I want to rent a farmhouse in Tuscany for the summer. I’ll spend my time horseback riding, wine tasting, eating fabulous Italian food and finishing my first romance novel.

First culture shock experience: I spent a week on the club floor at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, and then flew directly for my first-ever visit to Las Vegas. My bathroom had a mirrored ceiling and gilded … everything. Talk about an attitude adjustment.

Solo or group traveler?: Four or under. Anything larger and you feel like you’re herding cats … particularly if the destination requires transportation by car. Solo travel is great for a day or two, but then I start to feel lonely – particularly in a beautiful destination. Part of the fun is having someone to share your memories with!

You are a contestant on the Price is Right. What vacation do you hope is in the showcase showdown? What’s included? What’s the price? Millionaire’s Row tickets to the Kentucky Derby, with accommodations at 21C in Louisville and entry to the Barnstable Brown pre-party. Barn tours and trainer interviews included. If I couldn’t write about travel, I’d be a columnist for The Thoroughbred Times. Price: $10,000. Pretty please?