Archive for the Category »golf «

  Happy Thanksgiving!

…From Rancho Mirage CA, a fantastic travel destination this time of year. There are the nearby Palm Springs or Ontario airports, and temperatures in the 80s.

Near Palm Desert, CA

Another tip: If you like to golf, many of the golf courses – semi-private and public – are open the morning of Thanksgiving day…and can be uncrowded!

If you come this time of year, ask your concierge which courses are open for play, and find out when it is the least crowded. Beautiful day… and still time to enjoy the family for  Thanksgiving.

Wishing you a day full of gratitude.


  Hotel of the Week: Inspiration for Dads and Grads

In my next life I want to be a motivational speaker. That’s if being a rockstar/singer/musician doesn’t work out :)

It’s no coincidence I realize this during the season of commencement speeches… I get sentimental as I watch my kids or my kids’ friends graduate and move on.

What does this have to do with travel? I can make that segue! One of my favorite muse-like songs has frequent metaphors referring to places to visit… Many of those places are perfect for all you great dads, and hopeful grads. As “mushy” as it is, “I Hope You Dance” inspires…it would make a good commencement speech.

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.


An anomaly as far as Hawaiian resorts go, this is almost like a hunting lodge on a tropical island.

Masculine and strong design..with a fantastic golf course, this appeals to dads… and the relaxing beautiful setting appeals to grads.

When you stand by the ocean here, it is at the sister Four Seasons on the island at Manele Bay – inviting white sand beaches with great snorkeling and paddleboarding.

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance…


This is one place over which I still lust . On my bucket list. A six hour drive from Manhattan, it is opulance in relaxed mountain wilderness, with outstanding food and wine.

.. Creature comforts of the highest caliber mixed with the simplicity and beauty of nature…which keeps it unpretentious. It is a Relais and Chateaux getaway, & kids aren’t allowed.

There are only 11 rooms… and each one has a lake view, with an over-sized chiseled fireplace for cozy nights in the fresh mountain air.

Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances but they’re worth taking
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth making

Don’t let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance…

CLOSE TO HEAVENS ABOVE: Jungfraujoch, Switzerland.

This spectacular spot in the Swiss Alps is known as the “Top of the World” since it is more than 11,000 feet above sea level.

The Jungfrau Railway, which leads through the heart of the mountains and up to the highest train station in Europe, offers unbelievable views of the mountain giants Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau and of the longest river of ice in the Alps.

Inside the train station (the peak is called “Sphinx”), a lift takes visitors to the observation platform, from which one has a magnificent view of the mountains. The Jungfrau-Aletsch region is the first Unesco World Natural Heritage Site in the entire Alpine region.

Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along….
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder
Where those years have gone

Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance – DANCE.

Do you dance?


  Hotel of the Week: A Picture Perfect Setting for Romance… or Rug Rats

View from Terrenea Resort

This was the ocean view from my room at Terranea resort in Ranch Palos Verdes, CA… about 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles. That’s one of the things that makes this Mediterranean style 582 room resort special – all of the rooms offer private balconies, and most have ocean views. I could have stayed there all night and watched the sun set on this gorgeous only in So Cal summer night.

The setting for this huge-but-doesn’t-feel-too-big resort is spectacular – on one of the most gorgeous parts of the California coast… and it really is secluded from major developments or traffic, as it sits right at land’s edge on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Although it is along the coast, the stretch of beach for guests is not that large, but pretty.

At certain times of year you can see the sun both rise and set thanks to it’s location…. you have views from the pools as well as the guest rooms.

My favorite place to catch the view is at one of the restaurants: Nelsons, which sits right on the cliff. It is a casual environment… with an outdoor deck that also boasts a fire pit.

We went at sunset – the best time – but you really do need to get there early as it fills up fast. We were told it was a two hour wait to eat… but it ended up only being 30 minutes.

Like most of the restaurants at Terranea, Nelson’s has a children’s menu. The upscale resort could easily have catered more to an elite, adults only crowd, but the management was smart enough to realize more adults are traveling with their young children.

They have a number of activities for kids – My kids spent all day at the family pool with a 140 foot water slide and a water play area…. they barely came up to our lounge chairs for a break.

There is also a kids camp where you can drop in,  a family-friendly Par 3, 9 hole ocean front golf course, and a s’more party at night by the pool. (By the way for you golfers – the 9 hole course is brilliant in my opinion. When traveling, golf can eat up a big chunk of your day – 9 holes allows you to have a great round, then leave some time for relaxing too. If you want a longer course, Trump National Golf Club is a public course about three miles away.)

As a critic, I often see hotels that try to do too much – Terranea gracefully can accommodate and satisfy couples as well as families – There is an adult only pool that is quiet and has ocean views, and also a spa pool near the 50,000 sq foot very-adult indulging spa.

Another nice touch for adults and couples: You are welcomed at check in with a glass of champagne. They won me over right there – a really nice touch.

Another nice touch was a bottle of Paraiso Pinot noir and incredible chocolate covered strawberries in our room!! (Note: sorry – but that was a personal touch from the manager.) But you can order the Pinot in the restaurants and although I’m not a huge Pinot fan, it was darn good.

If you rent one of Terranea’s two, three, or four bedroom villas, you can keep the wine in your kitchen. These rooms are great options for families, or groups traveling together.

There were a lot of locals at Terranea – especially for dinner- and with good reason.

If you are visiting Los Angeles, and want to take in all the sights of Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Universal Studios, Santa Monica and Malibu beaches, Getty museums – Terranea is not the most convenient location, especially since  – shocker – Los Angeles has a little traffic problem.

But what I always do when booking a trip to a big city is find a relaxing resort or waterfront hotel that provides a balance in your trip. If your budget allows, I would add a few days here to stay planted, unwind, and enjoy the golden sunshine on our stunning coastline.

Why can’t summer last forever?

  Travel Tip Tuesday: Channeling Jack Nicklaus in Vegas

We ALL know there is plenty to do at night in Las Vegas. During the day, it’s either hang by the pool, shop, or try to win back what you lost the night before. (mistake!)

Jack Nicklaus Golf Academy, Las Vegas

But I discovered something well worth doing where there’s no smoke or ringing of slot machines. In fact, it is actually good for you…or at least your golf game. The Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf in Las Vegas is a state of the art golf instruction center, where golfers of all handicaps can work on their long and short games. In the process… you actually have some fun…

Especially if you get golf pro Seth Glasco as your instructor. Once a stand up comedian, he uses his humor to gently tell you what you are doing wrong (let’s just say I was laughing a lot)…and elevates the class beyond dry technical advise.

My day started out on a wacky device called the “Free Motion Tonic.” It is vibration training that increases muscle activation – basically, it is a shortcut to stretching, warming up your muscles. I was skeptical – and although I didn’t feel that much more stretched, my mind was as alert as if I had just downed a double espresso. (Warning: if you were overserved in the casinos the night before, use caution.)

After that Seth asks what you want to work on. Since I said, “everything,” it was a long session. Out on the putting green, he showed me drills to make my putting more rhythmic and even. These are drills you can use at home by the way, because he writes it all down for your personalized lesson.

Next – into the air-conditioned teaching facility, where my swing is analyzed in a 3D imaging system. THAT is cool.

Seth shows you what you are doing wrong by replaying your swing and marking it up with computer graphics.

After he works with you to improve, you are taped again and you compare the before and after swings.

It is illuminating to actually see  – instead of only feeling – what you are doing wrong. (Notice I am hinging more in the second swing!)

Afterward if you want to practice what you learn… or just scream in frustration because you can’t execute all the great drives you were sending back at the academy… Dragonridge Golf Course is right there. Normally a private course, you have access through the golf academy.

Dragonridge Golf Course, Las Vegas

The academy is not cheap  – but there are various different packages for groups, even kids.  It is perfect for a group of moms wanting to learn to golf… or a bunch of guys in Vegas.

The ONLY drawback is that it is about a $45 cab ride from the strip. I think if the Academy offered a shuttle and marketed that, it would be a hole in one. (bad I know…)

For info go to

  Augusta is beautiful…and private…and male only. So what are the top rated golf resorts where we can all play?

Jubilant Phil...A Sports Illustrated Photo

If watching the exciting and emotional Masters tournament in Augusta this weekend inspired you to take a golf trip, here are some links to the top rated golf resorts in the world…and also another list of top rated in the USA.,28242,1713350-1,00.html

The Course at Four Seasons Manele Bay on Lanai

I have actually golfed at one golf course from each top ten list – pretty lucky for a total amateur, right?? (Amateur is being generous by the way..) I am thankful for my job. One of them is also one of my favorite courses at a resort: the one pictured above on the Hawaiian island of Lanai at the Four Seasons at Manele Bay.

The Course at the Four Seasons on the Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica

The other course I have played that is on the international list is the course at the Four Seasons on the Papagayo Peninsula in Costa Rica…great course but not one of my favorites. However, it was pretty cool having iguanas crawling up to me while I was trying to chip my ball out of a ditch…and monkeys in trees overhead.

You be the judge – and have fun.