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Taylor Hagood: Key West Dreaming

When I received my Ph.D. in a year I shall not name, a friend of mine gave me a book written by Joy Williams entitled The Florida Keys: A History and Guide. I was about to move to Florida to start a job as a professor, and I had little concept of the Keys. The only thing I knew about the place was that there was a store in Key West named Fast Buck Freddie’s because my family then had a refrigerator magnet manufacturing business, and Fast Buck Freddie’s carried the products. Fast Buck Freddie’s: I love writing that. It seems to me that if South Florida should ever become a nation of its own it could be called Fast Buck Freddie’s. But back to Williams’s book, as I looked at the cover, with its blue sky and palm fronds with a beach peeking through, I had no idea how deeply my life would take root in Florida. I remember moving down, my father driving a U-Haul while I drove my red Nissan pickup truck (that as I now write has over

When in Bucharest Experience It Like the Locals

It’s historic, charming, varied, and lively — take a personalized tour and don’t miss a thing this city offers. Known as the “Paris of the East” in the early 20th century, Bucharest is a city filled with French-inspired Art Nouveau architecture mingled with stark utilitarian communist era edifices and contemporary structures. The city teems with activity day and night as the eighth largest city in Europe. While there, take a leisurely walk back in time through Old Town with its charming narrow cobblestone streets lined with cafes and boutiques. Enjoy peaceful greenery by strolling through a city park, a great little break from the city bustle. Take a Personally Guided Tour You’re in for a real treat if you book a personal tour with When in Bucharest. Its team of local guides are passionate about their great city. Calling themselves “super-guides,” they know Bucharest inside and out tailoring each tour to best fit the interests of their guests. Their specialty is giving private guided tours of the city in English, French, and Italian. When in Bucharest was founded by Alina Brasoveanu,

Take A Bite Out Of New Orleans

10 MUST-TRY RESTAURANTS (& WHAT TO ORDER) New Orleans has serious soul. Its rich heritage and distinct culture are discernable with all five senses. There’s music everywhere! And not just classic New Orleans jazz. Ten-piece brass bands congregate on street corners, and talented, solo rappers spit beats (the city gave us Lil Wayne, after all). I can’t imagine a quiet New Orleans. There’s a celebration for everything, and the city goes all out. New Orleans remains alive 24 hours a day, partially because the nightlife rolls straight into the morning. Beads aren’t just prominent around Mardi Gras: If you look up, you’ll likely find a few strapped in the trees and balconies year-round. La Nouvelle, as it once was called, is dressed in history; the diverse architecture reflects the city’s unique past. Its earliest roots were with the French (1718), overlain by the Spanish and personalized by residents from the Caribbean Isles. By the time Americans took over in 1803, each culture had left its distinctive mark. You’ll notice brightly painted Creole cottages in the French Quarter, and the most

The Great Ugandan Gorilla Safari

I recently had the good fortune of traveling to a destination less frequented by international travelers. Once described by Sir Winston Churchill as the “Pearl of Africa,” Uganda is in my opinion one of Africa’s best kept secrets.  This is a country of spectacular mountains, lush rainforests, sparkling rivers and lakes, not to mention a multitude of ancient cultures. In addition to a host of mammal species including endemic species such as Uganda kob and the giant forest hog, Uganda is blessed with an abundance of primates ranging from the small black and white colobus monkey to the highly endangered mountain gorilla. With a little over 1000 mountain gorillas remaining in the wild, it was naturally a great privilege to be afforded the opportunity to trek into their domain and spend precious time at close quarters observing these magnificent creatures as they went about their daily lives, foraging for food and socially interacting with each other, all the while being quite oblivious to our presence. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest stretches some 210 square miles across rugged mountainous terrain, and being

TAYLOR HAGOOD – BEALE STREET & BEYOND

Memphis, for me, first and foremost emerges as neon signs either created in the 1950s or made to look so. Certain ones stand out as iconic: the Peabody Hotel spelled out in big red letters on its roof; Poplar Tunes with its arrow-head-tipped musical staff of notes; Leonard’s Pit Barbeque’s top-hatted, cane-twirling pig. But mostly all those twisted glass tubes of glowing light, with their colors balanced on a razor edge of cool and warm, emerge like a grand Dale Chihuly sculpture, redolent of Memphis’s heyist of heydays, when Elvis Presley was living and breathing and at any moment walking down Beale Street decked out in pink, cream, and black, his sleeves rolled up. Meanwhile, only blocks away Johnny Cash was moaning his halting way through a new record, Wanda Jackson was shimmying in her oh-so-tight fringed dress while nitroglycerin-growling her cute voice, Carl Perkins was hacking his way around a new run on his home-rigged electric guitar, or the brilliant and maybe deranged genius Jerry Lee Lewis was banging away on the piano after arguing religion with Sam Phillips in

The Top 5 Myths Of Luxury Travel

Most believe luxury travel is simply Cristal Champagne, 1000 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets and Gulfstream private jets. Luxury travel is exorbitant prices, contrived experiences, and only for the celebrities and billionaires of the world. Right?……well whilst this perfectly fits the definition of luxury travel for many people, it is also much more personal and varied than this. With almost 21 years of developing unforgettable Australian travel experiences, The Tailor has been a pioneer in the landscape of Australian luxury travel, and the travellers who walk this landscape are not to be stereotyped. MYTH 1 – LUXURY IS SIMPLY CRISP WHITE SHEETS IN AN UBER-LUX CITY HOTEL One of the biggest myths of luxury travel is how we actually define it. Luxury travel is no longer solely defined by expensive furnishings of a hotel room situated on the top floor of a city-based hotel. In reality, luxury travel is about enriching these refinements with meaningful experiences and personalised interactions. Increasingly we are seeing more and more luxury travellers who are as much, if not more motivated by the experiences of