Archives – November, 2009

‘An Education’ offers far more than a glimpse into foreign travel, culture for impressionable young women

For any of us women—especially those who still consider themselves young or young-at-heart and long to experience the thrills and pleasures that travel and foreign cultures provide—the recently released Sony Pictures Classics film “An Education” ( is a must-see. (Here in the United States, it’s in relatively limited release, which is a shame because it’s truly one of the smartest, most thoughtful films to hit the big screen in ages.)

I recently saw it with one of my best girlfriends from university, someone who knew me before I became completely obsessed with all things international. But BECAUSE my friend knows me so well, she knew I’d be one of the few people who would be clamoring to see it with her. Another very good girlfriend, one whom I’ve traveled abroad with and spent countless hours sharing my dreams of seeing the world, demanded I call her as soon as I saw them film so we could dissect its deeper meaning in each of our lives….

Continue 8 Comments November 30, 2009

Uncorking of 2009 Beaujolais Nouveau lets you visit France via wine glass

As a freelance journalist who writes about both travel AND food, I frequently find these two passions of mine intersect deliciously. For me—someone who’d rather spend her trips abroad checking out local eateries than traipsing through museums—uncovering the culture behind cuisine is a beautiful thing. That’s one of MANY reasons why I so adore spending time in France.

Travel with me to “TCW Travel Connection,” ( the blog I write for Today’s Chicago Woman magazine. In my latest post, I wax poetic about a MOST incredible meal I had Nov. 19 at Cyrano’s Bistrot & Wine Bar (, a colorful and authentic French spot in Chicago’s chic River North ‘hood. As was the case at several eateries and special events around town, Cyrano’s was celebrating the official 2009 release of Beaujolais Nouveau, a fruity, food- and wallet-friendly red wine from France. (French law mandates this wine can be released no earlier than the third Thursday in November.)

Sitting there at Cyrano’s with one of my best friends, a glass of fruity young Beaujolais in my hand, I felt myself mentally transported from Chi-town to somewhere near the Seine. (But if you want to experience the real thing firsthand, Travel Intelligence provides some good deals on luxury travel throughout France.)

If only….

Continue 9 Comments November 20, 2009

Want to travel the ‘world’ without leaving the United States? Visit Las Vegas

Times are tough, and even us diehard globetrotters are finding ourselves grounded these days. But there ARE ways to travel the world without leaving the borders of the United States. In a recent post for my “TCW Travel Connection” blog, which I write for a great local monthly magazine called Today’s Chicago Woman (, I’ve written about “going global” by sampling fare at ethnic cafes and restaurants, checking out foreign films, soaking up the sounds from other lands, etc.

But surprisingly, you can ALSO take a trip around much of the world by visiting Vegas. YES, Las Vegas. Even this most American of cities offers something for the global traveler in you….

Continue 4 Comments November 12, 2009

Who is your ‘Inner Italian?’ Former Italy dweller and expatriate Kelly Carter celebrates hers

I wrote recently that my friend and former newspaper colleague and friend Sharon Sanders invited me to dish about my “Inner Italian” on her “Simple Italy: Italian Food, Culture, Lifestyle and Travel” blog. Through this blog, Sharon helps her readers understand that ““Even if we don’t live in Italy, Italy lives inside of us.” Reading Sharon’s Q&A interview with me inspired my good friend and fellow Italophile Kelly Carter to take a cobblestoned stroll down her own personal Italian memory lane. She shares it in this Kelly’s Korner post.

Kelly and I met during our days in bella Italia, and obviously the lessons she learned during her amazing two years continue to shape her life on this side of the pond. So for those of you who’ve been pondering a move abroad—or even spending an extended period of time in another country—you’ll probably be ready to quit your job and buy a one-way airplane ticket after reading this piece.

Continue 5 Comments November 8, 2009

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