Tag Archives: gina nelson

A Pearl in the South African Winelands

It was John Keats, the 18th century English romantic poet, who remarked, “Give me books, wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody that I do not know.” These were my precise sentiments when I embarked on my first journey to the South African winelands in April. Pour me a glass of an aromatic, bold red, a fragrant rosé, or an elegant and floral white, then I’m Read more »

The French Connection in Istanbul

Having lived in Paris for two years, an obsession of mine is to seek out all things French when traveling, be it bistros, cafes, literary haunts, and/or vistas. It has been become a standard ritual of mine to sit in drinking establishments that writers frequented, to dine in restaurants where artists supped, to mull about in places that attracted the likes of the Mary Cassatt’s, Picasso’s, Oscar Read more »

Fast and Fervid Fun at F1

Scoring a ticket to one of the world’s most coveted racing events is arguably no ordinary feat. Once you have missed the deadline for purchasing tickets, it undoubtedly becomes about who you know and strategically working your black book. You have to know someone, who knows “someone”, who knows “someone”. And having been dubbed a “newbie” in the UAE, I wasn’t quite sure how compelling Read more »

Odyssey to a Greek Isle: Hydra

The advantage of traveling with a local is that you become privy to information that you would ordinarily miss when traveling solo.  I was fortunate to have heeded my friend, Anastasia’s advice to venture outside Athens and do a three-day excursion to Hydra, one of mainland Greece’s 227 islands.  I just knew that I would be serendipitously discovering one of Greece’s gems. If your idea of Read more »

Leaving on the Night Train to Sapa (Vietnam)

I have always dreamt of traversing the great corridors of the world by train---tackling Lake Michigan, Yellowstone National Park, and Mount Rushmore on one jaunt then the Swiss Alps, Lake Geneva, and the Italian Dolomites in another. While riding the Orient Express still remains an ambitious goal on my “back in time” travel adventure list, my recent journey to Hanoi, Vietnam provided me with a Read more »

5 Starry Nights in Abu Dhabi

If you have a penchant for world-class hospitality, Michelin starred dining, exceptional service, and new world posh, then Abu Dhabi is the ideal place for you. There isn’t one 5 star hotel in Abu Dhabi which will fail to bedazzle and enchant its guests.  From a vast array of bespoke services and top-notch amenities to choose from, there is a hotel that will indulge all of your five senses and make Read more »

On The First Day of Ramadan…in the UAE (United Arab Emirates)

It feels like Christmas in July. Ubitiquous are lamp posts, trees trunks and branches adorned in pearl white, emerald green, and celeste blue lights. Lining the medians of streets and bridge crossings are fixtures of crescent moons and stars, Arabic teapots, lanterns, and other symbols of Islamic faith. Shopping malls and official businesses are resplendent in hues of amber and blue Read more »

A Dhow Day on the Gulf of Oman

There is something about being on the open road that connotes freedom for me. It’s the same liberating feeling that I get when I go bike riding along the shore- that indescribable sensation of sailing through the air effortlessly, that feeling of having the weight of the world lifted off my back, that feeling of being untarnished by time or place. So when opportunities within my travels, beckon me Read more »

Ascending the Moreeb Staircase (Liwa, UAE)

My late father used to tell me, “Gina, you work out as if it were a religion”. Being physically nimble/agile, fit, and healthy has always been of paramount importance to me, having competed in contact sports since the age of 12 and having grown up with eight brothers who were fiercely competitive. Hence, finding a vacation spot that provides equal doses of respite and physical activity is an essential Read more »

The Best Things in Life Are….Balaash (Free)

I am a fervid fan of free (free pre-concert passes to hobnob backstage with the Gipsy Kings, free VIP access to Jazz at Lincoln Center, free tickets to the 51st Grammy awards ceremony, free super bowl tickets, free tickets to opening day at Fenway Park, free season tickets to the New York Philharmonic symphony, free tickets to watch the Knicks play basketball). Just mention the word “free”, “gratis”, Read more »