High noon at Badwater basin, and here I am wearing a light fleece coat and cursing it because, well, it's not my high-end, breathable Gore-Tex rain jacket, hanging uselessly back home in the hallway closet.
You congenital high-brows who believe Death Valley is as parched culturally as it is meteorologically really need to get off your high horse and into your SUV and hightail it to this one-pump-of-the-brake-pedal town at the crossroads of highways 190 and 127, where high lonesome meets low desert.
There's something deliciously pampering about staying at multiple-star luxury hotels. The best of them evolve novel ways to cosset their clientele. Each of the three I experienced in my hometown of Toronto creates its own portrait, which I individually framed in an attempt to capture its unique character.
Tourists know about the treasures found around Los Angeles, but just 65 miles north lies one of the best kept secrets on the West Coast. The little seaside town of Oxnard offers almost everything that you can find in its southern neighbor, but none of the crowds.
In Florida, spring brings snowbirds, the strawberry harvest, spring training, the legislative session, spring breakers, and festivals at the theme parks. And let's be real: It may only be mid-February, but in Baja Florida, that's spring.
Soft light bathes Barbara Simoneschi as she gazes out the weathered windows of Villa Cicogna Mozzoni. She's watching our group of 32 gardeners explore the courtyard and frescoes of this historic palace that dates back to the Renaissance. There's something about the way she's framed that seems reminiscent of a classic Italian painting.
The farm woman selling the orange and pink hand-knit dolls at the farm market in Castro, on Chiloe Island, is telling me where she gets the wool, I'm trying to answer, and we've hit a dead end. We're both speaking Spanish. After all, Chiloe belongs to Chile. But we might as well be shouting in the wind.
Art walks are something you can find in many towns these days, but the little Hawaiian town of Hanapepe on the island of Kauai adds its own onomatopoeic "peppiness" to what you might find elsewhere. The art walk is happily island-style, and it happens every week.
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