California Baker Tracy Mattson Is One Smart Cookie

California Baker Tracy Mattson Is One Smart Cookie

Maybe the brown T-shirt imprinted with the eye-catching COOKIE…take a bite! logo that Tracy Mattson is wearing signifies super powers, something like the “S” emblazoned on Superman’s chest. Inside the 400-square-foot commercial kitchen of Tracy’s boutique, artisan bakery in Santa Rosa,Read more

Diversions and Destinations in Sonoma County Wine Country

Diversions and Destinations in Sonoma County Wine Country

Hiking atop Tomales Point’s craggy cliffs on the California coast, dense fog swirls with abandon, obliterating my view a few yards ahead. Just as quickly it shifts, allowing a fleeting glimpse of scrubby vegetation hugging the sandy trail. Save forRead more

Art of Reading Tours Marry Art and Literature at The Mint Museum

Art of Reading Tours Marry Art and Literature at The Mint Museum

I’m hopeful Mr. Darcy will magically materialize and join our Art of Reading tour at Mint Museum Randolph. The Art of Reading tour is a free program that draws connections between art and literature, two of my passions. Our guide, docent Debbie Struble, spearheaded developmentRead more

History and Hospitality Captivate at Winston-Salem’s Graylyn

History and Hospitality Captivate at Winston-Salem’s Graylyn

A jagged hole marring one of the oak wall panels in the richly appointed library of Graylyn, once the second largest private home in North Carolina and now an international conference center, is all that remains of a Parisian loveRead more

Rocking On in California’s Joshua Tree National Park

Rocking On in California’s Joshua Tree National Park

Our plan for this sunny day in Southern California seemed straightforward enough – drive about 60 minutes from La Maison, our French-inspired boutique hotel in Palm Springs, to Joshua Tree National Park for a desert hike. Instead, we’ve either materialized onRead more

Blowing in the Wind at San Gorgonio Pass Wind Park

Blowing in the Wind at San Gorgonio Pass Wind Park

It’s a sad day at San Gorgonio Pass Wind Park on the northwest outskirts of Palm Springs, CA, laments Randy Buckmaster, our guide from Palm Springs Windmill Tours. Wind – the element that makes one of the deepest mountain passesRead more

Chef Bruce Moffett’s Barrington’s Restaurant Stars in Charlotte

Chef Bruce Moffett’s Barrington’s Restaurant Stars in Charlotte

The sound system in the kitchen at Barrington’s restaurant in Charlotte, NC, plays “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” as I observe owner and executive chef Bruce Moffett wield a hefty knife and trim excess fat and other unwantedRead more

High Time in Highlands at Old Edwards Inn and Spa

High Time in Highlands at Old Edwards Inn and Spa

The good news is we’re sipping champagne and munching icy Dove bars. Both treats are complimentary as we check into Old Edwards Inn and Spa in the scenic mountain resort town of Highlands, NC. The bad news is firefighters areRead more

New SFMOMA Dazzles as Showplace for Modern and Contemporary Art

New SFMOMA Dazzles as Showplace for Modern and Contemporary Art

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s newest patron wears a fuzzy pink onesie. The baby girl is strapped face forward, arms and legs dangling, into a supportive carrier on her father’s chest. Dad holds a bottle up to his daughter’sRead more

Wine, Women, and Napa Valley’s Michaela Rodeno

Wine, Women, and Napa Valley’s Michaela Rodeno

Michaela Rodeno and I are standing in the light-filled kitchen of her cube-shaped home in Oakville, CA, which also doubles as the tasting room of her family’s Villa Ragazzi winery. She hands me a bottle of their flagship Sangiovese wine andRead more