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It’s tough when you peak at 19. Five years ago I spent the summer living in Ireland and I have yet to experience anything quite like it since. From tall pints of Guinness in cozy, dimly lit bars to hiking in a downpour on sheep sh*t-soaked hillsides, I really can’t pick my favorite moment (and yes, the latter is absolutely in the running).

I knew little about Ireland at the time, but I was so greatly captivated by the town of Dingle in the southwestern county of Kerry. It was a quiet seaside community and the spot on which I witnessed the final game of the 2006 World Cup. That night was epic (picture verbal sparring matches with 12-year-old France fans, taking my victory lap around the town square, and an all-night saga of debauchery, drinking and merriment).

Little did I know that Dingle has also captured the hearts of some of the world’s most renowned musicians, and every year the town hosts the “Other Voices” music series, filmed each winter at the 200-year-old St. James’ Church. Some of the top names have included James Blount, Amy Winehouse, Florence and the Machines, Glen Hansard, Coldplay and more. In fact, many of these great artists take time to remain in Dingle to write and compose because the city fills them with such powerful inspiration.

Last week ‘Other Voices’ brought a blend of culture and soul to NYC and we celebrated at a private luncheon at New York’s 3 West Club. Take a look at The Lost Brothers, who gave us a very exclusive performance and be sure to make a trip to Dingle, where you can hear live Irish music 365 days a year. To me, nothing sounds more like heaven.


I don’t know what the weather is like where you live, but when I left the house this morning it was 39 degrees. I’m sorry, but I am just not ready. So let’s dedicate this Frugal Friday to the sun-drenched Palm Springs.

Miramonte Resort and Spa in Indian Wells near Palm Springs is offering a special holiday rate of $99 per night throughout their Desert Holidays program, beginning the day after Thanksgiving and extending through New Year’s Day 2012.

The holiday program includes cooking classes, chef dinners, musical entertainment, wine tastings, star gazing and more.

The resort offers a daily “Holiday Dining Around the World” buffet, featuring a rotation of traditional dining from countries around the globe.

Seriously, for $99 per night and a place to thaw out? I’m there.

For more information visit

Photo courtesy of Edible Brooklyn

Okay, okay, you got me. It’s another post about Vienna. What can I say? When a city speaks to you, it speaks to you. A friend of mine from the Austria Tourist Board posted this article on Facebook yesterday and I thought it was a pretty good read.

Are you a fan of the alternative? (Brooklynites, I’m talking to you.) Last month Edible Brooklyn posted an article about Vienna’s Leopoldstadt district, aka the “Brooklyn” of Vienna. This neighborhood seems to have it all, from the drastically more affordable apartments to the organic, bohemian, farm-to-table farmers markets that both hipsters and posh elite can’t seem to get enough of.

Want to learn more? Read the article here.

No travel on the foreseeable horizon, folks, but definitely a lot of exciting things in the pipeline. Let’s make it light today with one of my favorite pictures. This is a salt field high in the Andes in Peru. I spent four days hiking the Andes from Cuzco to Machu Picchu back in 2005. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life: camping in the mountains up in the clouds, meeting like-minded hikers from around the world, and, my favorite, rounding a corner at the end of the trail to be smacked in the face with a perfect view of Machu Picchu. Interested in your own Peruvian adventure? Check out Adventure Life, which specializes is customizable South American tours.

I know I typically wow you all with the hot new scene, but you may be shocked to know that I am often sorely out of the loop. Fortunately I have a circle of people whom I can easily contact for the latest scoop on dining, technology, local news and yes, sometimes travel.

Over the summer I met a good friend for dinner at  an adorable French bistro in Long Island City (another tale for another time) and she told me all about Airbnb, a community marketplace for people to list and book unique spaces around the world either online or from their iPhone. (She is very tech-savvy.) Seriously this site has everything from castles to sailboats to apartments. It’s a great way for people to showcase their spectacular spaces and have visitors come rent them out to see how the other half lives.

So far Airbnb exists in over 16,000 cities in over 186 countries with over 2 million nights already booked. It’s like sleepover social networking.

How to book:
1. Find your space using the search page to find a property. Enter dates you need and browse availability.
2. Book it by entering your credit card information (it’s a secure site) and within 24 hours the host will accept your request. (Note: Hosts can also choose to deny if you do not seem stand-up.) After confirmation the exact address will be distributed.
3. Travel. Get your itinerary details and enjoy!

How to host:
1. Create an Airbnb profile and list your space with photos, price and availability. Listing is free!
2. Answer guest questions using the onsite messaging system. You can feel free to accept or decline requests.
3. Host your guest! You will be paid 24 hours after they check in.

Are your tastes more of the silver spoon variety? Fear not. I’ve just received word that Airbnb now has an “In the Lap of Luxury Collection.” Travelers can use the site to now access some of the world’s most in-demand accommodations (think a ski lodge in Squaw Valley, a private island in Fiji, or yacht cruising in Miami).

Get clicking friends. If you like to travel and mingle, this is right up your alley, and the friends I have who have used this service say it is truly memorable.

Ahh just another night in Vegas. One minute you’re at a formal awards gala eating beef short rib and lobster tail (all part of the job) and the next you are in the front row for a Foster the People concert. It’s good to be with the media. It’s good to be in Vegas.

I’m staying at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, the newest hotel to open on The Strip. After three visits to Vegas this year I can begin to consider myself a bit of a connoisseur and I can say with certainty that this is my favorite hotel. It’s different for Vegas. Sure, it has your all-you-can-eat buffet, and outposts of some of the world’s best restaurants, and a nightclub but….where is the casino? Normally in Vegas hotels the casino is shoved right up your….something…that makes it impossible to avoid. Not at The Cosmopolitan. Yes, of course one exists. This is Vegas, after all, but it is located on the ground floor, away from the majority of the specialty restaurants, pools and conference facilities. You can only get there if you really want to find it.

The hotel’s focus is music, which I can totally get on board with. Several of the bars have DJs spinning every night, the Book & Stage bar/restaurant has a live band, the Chelsea Ballroom can accommodate up to 4,000 people for concerts, and The Boulevard Pool can hold up to 3,000. Music is always thumping from the exclusive Marquee Dayclub/Nightclub, but you best be dressed as naked as possible if you have even a shot of getting in.

My idea of a perfect Cosmopolitan night? Start with cocktails at The Chandelier, a three-floor bar dripping with crystals. After a sexy cocktail grab dinner at Blue Ribbon Sushi. Tip: Sit at the sushi bar and watch the masters at work. My dinner companion was a lobster chilling on ice, still alive. He wasn’t much of a conversationalist, but if he could speak he would tell you book your stay around one of the many fantastic concerts that the hotel hosts (like Mumford and Sons and Foster the People).

Check out my live video of the Foster the People concert at The Boulevard Pool. Flashed my press pass and got to the front row. (Note: You will see in the video a giant speaker blocking the lead singer. I write for a travel trade magazine, not the New York Times).

So this past week I was in Vegas. It was 85 every day. At home in New York? An icy 62. If you are like me and you prefer your balmy 80-plus-degree climate to your rainy, chilly and somehow STILL humid weather, I suggest you check out this deal.

Harbor Beach Marriot Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale is offering a Name Your Rate Sundays package. Huh? Guests who stay three nights, including Sunday, can name their own price for Sunday night with no minimum rate!

With the money saved feel free to treat yourself to a dinner at one of the hotel’s restaurants, go parasailing, indulge in some spa pampering, or what have you. Seriously. There is NO minimum amount for your Sunday stay.

This package is available through December 22 with rates starting at $229 per night.

Note: For reservations click here and use promotional code DOD.

If you ask me about my favorite cities in Europe, Vienna always manages to wiggle its way into the top five. This city is spectacular. Aside from its centuries-old history, decadent desserts and amazing wine, the city exudes an imperial elegance and grace that is seemingly effortless. It’s just a beautiful European city.

Almost a year since I was last in Vienna, the Austria Tourist Office set up a temporary “Pop Up Store” in SoHo. For the last two weeks the gallery, at 201 Mulberry between Spring and Kenmare, has hosted art exhibits, wine tasting, performances and more to showcase everything that is uniquely Austrian.

The Pop Up store will close up on Wednesday, October 19, with a culinary bash, so if you have yet to experience all that is Austria I highly recommend you make the trip.

Be sure to have your picture taken in front of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt‘s most notable work: The Kiss. Next year Vienna will be honoring Gustav Klimt’s work with an ongoing exhibition.

It’s a sad fact that as college gets further and further away from me, it gets increasingly harder to arrange a good girl’s night out. Either my friends are moving to Brooklyn, moving in with their boyfriends, or moving away. So when a ladies night comes around, you best grab it and hold on.

This past weekend I did it up Lower East Side-style for a friend’s 25th birthday. The LES (as the cool kids call it) is one of NYC’s great enigmas. It’s not easily accessible, but somehow it has flourished into one of the greatest off-kilter enclaves in the entire city. This is the only neighborhood where you can grab a $2.50 PBR at one bar (that happens to look like your grandmother’s basement), and then hit a freak show around the corner. It’s where hipsters, chic-elite, riffraff, and posers all go to commingle on graffiti-stained sidewalks where the craft beers flow freely.

For your next trip to the LES, here are my recs:

The Meatball Shop – Okay, I realize I’m a little late to this party, but This LES outpost of the Williamsburg favorite opened up earlier this year serving up the same deliciousness that Brooklynites have come to know and love. There are six types of meatballs, six types of sauces, and an infinite number of ways to enjoy them all. I ordered four meatball sliders and a side of mashed potatoes. Tip: The spicy pork lives up to its name and one was NOT enough. Note: It is typically over an hour wait to get a table. Put down your name and give the hostess your cell phone number. She will text you 15 minutes before your table is ready. While you wait head over to…

Beauty & Essex – When I walk into what is supposed to be a bar and I find a jewelry store, my “hidden New York” radar starts to beep. A green door behind the register gives way to one of the swankiest NYC scenes I’ve ever beheld. Picture dimly lit dining areas, a sweeping spiral staircase lined with animal fur and glitzy crystal chandeliers and a ladies’ bathroom that serves complimentary pink champagne. All of this hidden behind a tiny 12×14 storefront. This is a perfect spot for a girls’ night out, romantic date night or where to kick off a bachelorette party.

Here at trippin: a travelogue I feel that Friday is a day for rewards. To me, there is no greater reward that the gift of travel, so allow me to introduce Frugal Fridays.

Each Friday I will present a hot travel deal that I find with the hopes that it will tickle your fancies and inspire you to go off and have your own trippin adventures.

Let’s get this Friday started with Groupon Getaways. We all know Groupon, but this summer everyone’s favorite deal site launched a vacation component, based on Groupon’s original premise. You have a limited time to get some pretty sweet deals on travel across the world. Check it out and happy trippin!