At 9,200’ with a view of Pikes Peak, the inspiration for “America the Beautiful,” I got chills on a warm summer evening. From the patio atop Cheyenne Mountain, everything looked majestic and far away, even nearby Colorado Springs. “I can almost see California” joked my husband, Mr. G., referring to our home near San Francisco. With a possible local break in the Covid-19 pandemic, (despite calls for avoiding indoor crowds, social distancing, wearing masks and staying close to home), we chose to risk a safe Western outdoor adventure at The Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs.
When friends ask me to choose my favorite region of Italy, I never hesitate. It is always Piedmont. This usually provokes two responses. What about Tuscany? Or, what’s to see in Piedmont? Friends who like Italian wine respond differently. “Ah, the land of Barbera and Nebbiolo wines. I’ve always wanted to go there.” I love all of Italy from the northern reaches of Alto Adige where German is spoken to the wide expanses of Puglia on the Adriatic Sea. But Piedmont holds my heart. In addition to presenting outstanding wines, the region extends warm hospitality and beautiful landscapes. After a trip four months before the pandemic began, I bonded even more strongly with Piedmont. In the Monferrato area, we visited historic cities, tasted delicious food, stopped by wineries and explored areas designated as UNESCO heritage sites. Bottom line: I fell in love with Piedmont all over again.
My first visit to Chicago years ago was spent in crowded meeting rooms representing my company at an IT conference. In my current role as a food, drink and travel writer, I’ve been hungry to return. This summer, with a group of friends, I explored the city for a few days from high up and on the river and fell in love. At every destination, I was enchanted by the beauty and energy of the city. Along the way, Chicago gave me a generous taste of its heritage, its amazing attractions and most of all, its lively food and beverage scene.