Just a few questions about my favorite places

Hi Heather,

NileGuide wants to find out the Top 10 countries, regions, cities, journeys and icons as defined by North American top travel industry experts and travel bloggers. We’d love to hear your jetsetter opinion!

Last month Travel + Leisure Australia surveyed 50 members of the Australian travel industry to reveal a diverse set of “Top Travel Destination” lists (see article). We were intrigued by the idea and decided to put a North American spin on things—we’d like to find out what travel experts on this side of the hemisphere think.

That’s where you come in! Simply respond to this email with answers to the following questions.



Here goes….

1. In rank order, what are your 3 favorite countries?

1. The United States – there’s just so many wonderful things to do here – and driving, for me, is a possibility! When I’m not working, I try to avoid people, airports, and airplanes. On my last flight to New York a Los Angeles based flight attendant told me about Convict Lake near Mammoth in California where she often rents a cabin. Her photos were absolutely gorgeous. I live in Los Angeles, so I’d like to check it out one weekend.

b. Italy – it’s beautiful and the food is amazing. For me, it’s all about a beautiful view and fantastic food, so Italy wins hands down. See that pasta, that’s from the Positano Cafe. We went there our first night in Positano. Not only was the food fantastic, the view was unbeatable. Bruno’s is also a very good place to go.

c. Mexico – A great place for a last minute, cheap, and relaxing weekend away. Because I live in Los Angeles, this is the closest place we can fly to that actually feels like a vacation. Zihautanejo is where used to go, but Hotel Las Palmas has now been converted into condos, so we’re now on the lookout for a new place to stay that’s not too touristy. (Any suggestions?)

2. In rank order, what are your 3 favorite cities?

a. Austin, Texas – I went to college near Austin, so Austin is very close to my heart – lots of fond memories there! It’s a fantastic town with a really cool music scene. As far as flying goes, I used to love our long layovers on 6th street. Those were the days.

b. New York City – All I have to do is walk down the street and I feel alive and creative. The energy in NY is amazing.

c. Positano – I’ve never felt so welcome or relaxed in such a beautiful place – thanks to the staff at the Villa Rosa Hotel. I miss you guys!

3. In rank order, what are your 3 favorite journeys? (For example driving Highway 1 or riding Trans-Siberian Railway)

a. Flying from TX to NY (my base) hours after completing flight attendant training. I’ll never forget descending into La Guardia airport and seeing all those lights down below. It was the most amazing sight, just so beautiful, and it was the beginning of “my life” as I know it.

b. Driving from TX to Monterrey, Mexico with a coworker at the spur of the moment, just like Thelma and Louise, only I was Thelma and he was Louise. We ended up in a beautiful cabin way up in the mountains (owned by someone at work) where we found ourselves surrounded by clouds. Literally, I stood in the clouds. Talk about heaven on earth.

c. Driving to my grandpa’s house in Texas with my husband, a New Yorker, for the very first time. It was so much fun to see my home state through his east coast eyes. The best part of that journey, stopping off in Fairfield at Sam’s Restaurant for their enormous buffet that included BBQ, mac-n-cheese, green beans, chicken fried steak, catfish, fried okra, banana pudding, cobbler, all the good stuff. He’d never seen anything like it.

4. In rank order, what are your 3 favorite icons (natural or man-made)? (for example, the pyramids of Giza or the Great Barrier Reef)

a. The Brooklyn Bridge – NY.

b. The Strand (at sunset) – Hermosa Beach, CA

c. The Eiffel Tower – Paris (on a layover – it makes me feel like Gwyneth Paltrow in the movie a View from the Top)

5. What is your favorite hotel? (Please also let us know where it’s located)

Highlands Inn (Carmel, CA) That’s where I got married. The hotel property is gorgeous, the view incredible, and they even provide binoculars in the rooms for whale watching outside on your wooden deck. It is a very romantic place, which is why Carmel is one of my favorite cities in the US. The town of Carmel is just so beautiful and relaxing and it smells good, too! Walking around at dusk and looking in all the shop and gallery windows is what I like to do. My husband loves to go for a run early in the morning on the beach and then we’ll grab a bite to eat at Katy’s Place. My son can’t get enough of the children’s library and visiting the firemen who are usually hanging around outside the firehouse with stickers for the little ones. There’s an amazing state park, Point Lobos State Reserve, directly across the street from the Highlands Inn and if that’s not enough you can take a drive to Big Sur (for a quiet, even more romantic, getaway) or you can jump in the car with the kids and visit Monterey, which is where I was born. My son absolutely loves the sea otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The Highlands Inn


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