Merry Christmas and Happy Travel Holidays!
There will be sugar. And lots of it. Anyone wandering into the Westin Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco will immediately be amazed at the the grand sugar castle that weighs in at over 1,000 pounds. This totally edible architectural treat is on display until early January, so bring your cameras and get clicking! See our calendar this month for details on this incredible sight.
Can you believe another year is passing us by? I think I say that every year. And this is why travel memories are important to create. Whether it is making a southern California visit to see Mickey or flying around the world to Cappadocia in Turkey (see our columnist Joyce Kiefer's latest article), travels are always worth the time and money. In due time, you and your kids will be able to look back on interesting food discoveries, funny people, astounding views, and super trails that you encountered together.
Speaking of trails, I would like to share with you my first hike on the famed Appalachian Trail where I hiked McAfee's Knob in Roanoke,Virginia. Folks, there is definitely a reason why they call this area the home of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The layers of mountains are a surreal blue as far as the eye can see. Check out this article, and maybe you will want to hoof the A.T. as well.
And while I was in Virginia, writer Peter Meade literally hit the trail via horseback in Arizona. There, he visited the family-run dude ranch of Tanque Verde, which offers an all-inclusive package. Read his review of his stay in Tanque Verde Ranch: Where History & Horses Meet Education & Eating.
My friend Lin Low is never to be outdone when it comes to travel. This year she flew to El Salvador to find out the latest places to go in this country in Central America. Read her point of view regarding El Salvador: The Hidden Adventure Gem.
For those of us on Bay Area soil, we are starting to get chilly. What better way to find an escape from the cold than to visit a spa? In our latest Parent Getaways column, I review the Immersion Spa , a hybrid American/Korean spa with authentic Korean treatments and practices in Palo Alto. You will want to visit, and you will love it, I promise.
If you want to get away, however, look up our Deals section where we highlight several properties guaranteed to make you smile with great prices and great locations. We also cover the remodeled Napa Valley Inn in a review in Parent Getaways. This an affordable choice for a weekend blitz during the holidays. And if you want to see what fun things are going on around the country, do read our story on holiday events occurring around the country. But whether you stay home or go away, make sure you are with your most treasured loved ones while you have them with you.
Happy Holidays, everyone! See you in 2014!
Kathy Chin Leong.