When I planned my recent trip to Chile, my heart was set on the wine country and the coast. I wasn’t too excited about visiting Santiago. But because I was paying for most of the trip using points, I decided to stay in Santiago for a few nights as the rates were lower and I could maximize my points. The city really surprised me and I left wanting to lure all fellow wine lovers south.
Here are a few of the reasons why wine lovers will fall hard for the city:
THE VIEW AT THIS WINERY WITHIN CITY LIMITS.
I’ve been to wineries all over the world, places as stunning as Santorini and the Douro Valley. My jaw dropped when I walked through the gates of Viña Aqutania. There is truly nothing quite like sitting among the wines and gazing up at the massive Andes mountains towering over the vineyards in the distance. I was surprised how close the mountains seemed, like you could just reach out and touch them, a glass of wine in hand.
Tokyo is a city of coordinated chaos. It’s a sprawling, massive city full of people. Shinjuku is loud and full of flashing lights, much like Times Square, yet you can turn a corner and be on a quiet tree-lined street. It’s utterly confusing and so easy to get lost in. You can wander within one giant metro station for an hour just trying to find the right exit (we did!).
While there are many reasons tourist flock to Tokyo, my husband and I came for one primary reason: to eat! Tokyo is world renowned for incredible restaurants and top notch sushi. However, many of the places you read about in newspapers and magazines will set you back a pretty penny. High end sushi restaurants are generally $200 + a person, a price we were not willing to pay.
If you’re on a budget, I wouldn’t suggest Tokyo as a destination, but it is possible to eat well without spending your savings.
Below are a few tips on how to taste Tokyo’s culinary delights without breaking the bank.
The first five minutes of our cab ride from the airport were a brief introduction into the chaos that defines Hanoi. Cars and motorbikes weaved back and forth, leaving inches of space between them, while our cab driver drove down the breakdown lane of the highway, inches from the concrete center barrier, as if it were meant for traffic. I knew immediately that Hanoi would live up to its reputation for being in a near constant state of pandemonium.
As we drove into the historic Old Quarter, the streets were engulfed with vast numbers of people walking in every which direction with seemingly little regard to the motorized traffic. Every few feet there were fires of what we thought was trash burning in the streets (we later found out the fires were offering to the gods). Stepping out of the cab we felt the thick, hot air and realized that even at 9 PM there was no break in the heat. Hot and tired, I went to bed that night glad we only had one full day in Hanoi, as I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the city.
Luckily, our full day in Hanoi changed my opinion of the city for the better.
Asheville, North Carolina is the perfect place for a relaxing weekend getaway. Some people call this unique city the Austin of the east coast. Like Austin, Asheville is full of great food, drinks, music, and art. However, though I’m a proud Texan, I’d give Asheville an edge over Austin due to its gorgeous scenery.
It’s difficult not to have a delightful visit to Asheville, but here are my top tips for making the most out of your visit: