Now that Victor and Tammy have discovered that they get along with each other quite nicely, AND they’ve won the million dollar prize on Amazing Race 14, they could pool their resources for some dandy vacations and have plenty of money left over for two houses and the stock market. This is the time to buy. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.
Let’s say that Victor and Tammy only have a few days to squeeze in between their Amazing Race trip wins– considering that they came in first place five times and won trips for most of their Pit Stop triumphs. Just in case they are stumped about where else to go, I’ve thought of five places I’d head to in the U.S. if I were them. It doesn’t hurt to dream a little. Stay tuned for where I’d go in the world.
- New York, New York: Spend three nights at the Plaza Hotel overlooking Fifth Avenue in New York City. For the summer, if you book two nights, the third is free. To add to the luxury, stay in the 2 Bedroom Suite with 5th Ave view Dining, 2 baths, butler service and a pantry. For the two nights that’ll be $7,000, not including tax and gratuity. Still that leaves a lot of moola for New York City fun.
- Yountville, California: Dine at the French Laundry in Napa Valley, California. Ever since I read about Scott Haas’s experience dining here in his book Are We There Yet?, I’ve been salivating. Each day there are two new nine-course tasting menus. Haas spent more than $400.00 for his family of four. The tasting menu is $240 a person. Here’s today’s. Yum! Where to stay suggestion: Yountville Inn. There’s a Superior Room with two queen-size beds with breakfast included and complimentary wine tasting. Napa Valley would be a wonderful place for some R&R to celebrate a race.
- Ogunquit, Maine: One of the first places I went on a solo adventure was Ogunquit. I didn’t stay, but visited a friend who was working there at a resort hotel. It was gorgeous. The Juniper Hill Inn is a beach front property within walking distance to the historic downtown and the Marginal Way, the path that leads to Perkins Cove. With a two-night stay you can get the Theater Package that includes two tickets to John Lane’s Ogunquit Playhouse, a summer theater outing. The most expensive rooms are less than $250 so there’s plenty of chump change for lobster and steamed clams to dip in butter. For the best of the best, MC Perkins Cove has a menu that’s sublime.
- New Orleans, Louisiana: Whatever else Tammy & Victor decide to do in New Orleans, they need to eat breakfast at Brennan’s. I did that once, and it’s an experience not to forget. There are also many options for Creole style fine-dining, and a city that has a personality like no others. For slumber, my dreams point to a deluxe King room at The Avenue Garden Hotel in the Garden District. For $124 a night for a King bed Deluxe room, Tammy and Victor can certainly afford a room each.
- Santa Fe, New Mexico: Friends of mine once said that said Santa Fe is the only place they’ve been that makes them feel like shopping. Seriously, this is probably the most aesthetically pleasing city in the U.S. My hands down favorite thing to do there besides linger at the Museum of International Folk Art is spend a couple hours at Ten Thousand Waves, a Japanese style spa and retreat center. La Fonda Hotel on the Plaza has a gorgeous restaurant, La Plazuela with superb eats. For luxury, the hotel has La Terreza rooms and suites on the top floor that includes a roof top patio. A suite is $595.
Let’s say you’re interested in boycotting Utah but you really want to ski at an affordable destination. Consider New Mexico. The mountains are steep and become packed with powder; the sky is blue; and skiing is near places worth heading to whether you ski or not.
Consider this: Santa Fe and Taos
I’m not saying that Utah isn’t a lovely state–It’s gorgeous–breathtaking even. Then there’s David Archuleta who is cute as a button. He’s from Utah. So are the Osmonds. But let’s say you want to boycott the state because it’s been suggested as an appropriate response as of late. (See Meg’s post.)
If you do think about heading to New Mexico for a ski vacation, here are details to tip your decision-making in New Mexico’s favor.
- Lift tickets are $6 cheaper at Santa Fe’s resort than at Utah’s Alta.
- Lift lines in New Mexico, in my experience, are not particularly long.
- If you ski in Santa Fe, head to the Japanese onsen-like Ten Thousand Waves for a glorious soak in a private outdoor hot tub. Some tubs are located in the midst of trees that glisten in the snow and moonlight. This is a perfect stop after a day of swooshing down a mountain over and over again.
- Santa Fe is a place to shop like no other. Friends of mine– who never shop, said they’ve never been to a place that has given them the urge to buy things more than here. Canyon Road is filled with galleries and stores that are the definition of eye candy.
- The best folk art museum in the world is in Santa Fe. Head to the International Folk Art Museum for a visual treat and a reminder of all the markets you passed through in your world travels. You’ll possibly be reminded of that item you didn’t buy, that very thing that is in the display case in front of you–specifically an odd painted piece of pottery that is shaped like a chicken–kind of. It’s from Senegal to be exact.
- A meal at Cafe Pasqual is fit for a weekend that’s meant to be special. This is fine dining with an organic, Old Mexican, New Mexican and Asian twist. I can’t remember what I ate specifically, but I was on a date with a guy who wanted to impress. He did. Fine dining doesn’t mean you need to get all gussied up either.
If you head to Taos, you can stop at Taos Pueblo, the oldest continuously inhabited Native American town that is both an National Historic Landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
There’s something about a hot tub spa experience that makes a person feel warm. Add another person in the equation and you have the perfect Valentine outing. You can steam up some romance while basking in the steam-or if you haven’t had much time to talk lately. This is a terrific way to float stress away while muscles relax and you bask in uninterrupted time.
Here are three places I’ve been myself, and darn, I wish I lived closer to at least one of them. Our bathtub isn’t big enough for two.
Ten Thousand Waves in Santa Fe, New Mexico offers private hot tubs set out in the woods among the pinion trees. Everything is provided from plush robes to lotions to hair dryers after you soak for 55 minutes. Turn up the luxury factor by adding a massage or a spa treatment. You also can stay here. Not only are there Japanese style baths, but there are Japanese style accommodations.
At the Spring City Resort in Peitou near Taipei, you can rent a private spa room by the hour. The hotel website doesn’t list the hot tub only rooms, but I know they are available. I’ve been there. I’ve been in the hot tubs. Articles about spas in Peitou, a premier hot spring area of Taiwan, also list Spring City Resort as having hot tubs so I know this is something I didn’t imagine way back when. The mineral hot spring tub experience can be coupled with a feast afterwards. The buffet at the resort’s hotel is superb. I remember the eating part as much as I remember the soaking.
Glen Ivy Hot Springs’s Day Spa mineral baths aren’t exactly private. You sit in your private bath while your honey (or friend) sits in another and other people soak in theirs. Even so, the romance can build because this is a destination place where you can swim in the pool, get a massage or some other spa treatment, slather mud on each other, rinse off and then soak some more. Named oof the top “25 spas in North America” by the National Geographic Traveler Magazine, this place is located in Corona, California , a doable easy drive from Los Angeles. Glen Ivy has other locations as well.