9 Tips to Make the Most of Oahu

It's hard to believe it's already been a year since we visited Hawaii for a friend's wedding. He's since moved to San Diego, but I think all our hearts stayed in Honolulu. Here are nine standouts from our four days in Oahu. 

DiamondHead.jpg

1. Stay at the Modern Honolulu, or at least visit the pool bar after sunset for sleek cocktails.

Source: Modern Honolulu

2. Get your morning caffeine fix at Gorilla in the Cafe, right along Kalakaua Avenue.

3. And grab a healthy and fresh brunch at Heavenly.

Source: Brownie Bites

4. Ignore the signs and make the Shire-like hike to Lulumahu Falls

5. Rent a Jeep (or scooter if you're nuts) for a trip around the island -- my favorite scenery is just a 20-minute drive past Diamond Head. 

6. Take the Island Magic sunset booze cruise (and be on time!). 

7. Spend an evening wandering the Royal Hawaiian (Mai Tai Bar is adorable!). 

8. Think twice about fancy SPAM appetizers. I just can't get into SPAM.

9. You're in Hawaii -- embrace your inner tourist and make the stop at Duke's. It's famous for a reason!

Source: Putovanja.info

Thanksgiving Away: Eight Savory International Escapes

Thanksgiving is always one of the busiest travel times of the year -- and no surprise, as we race home to gobble up three servings of legendary homemade punkin' pie. Next week, I'll be part of the holiday rush heading to see the family (and enjoy my brother's take on our grandma's classic).

Source: ZCache

Source: ZCache

While I prefer to be home, I know not everyone will be stuffing their face with turkey and, well, stuffing. If your Thanksgiving plans aren't around a table, a new Switchfly survey shows you're not alone: lots of Americans will forgo traditional festivities to take short jaunts out of the country.

So, where are they heading?

Mostly places warm and exotic, of course. On average, international travelers will spend between four to six days soaking up the sun and sand abroad before heading home.

Here are the top eight places Americans are escaping to for the holiday. And if you're not heading south for the season, consider spicing up your family's traditional smorgasbord with a few new international flavors suggested below.

Top Eight International Thanksgiving Travel Destinations

As compiled by Switchfly

A Globally Inspired Thanksgiving Menu

Apéritifs 

  • Pinot Noir: Argentine Pinots tend to be fuller than their American counterparts. The 2014 Schroeder Estate vintage, out of Patagonia, will pair well with a Thanksgiving meal -- and it won't break the bank, retailing around $20 a bottle. 
  • Red Stripe Lager: For your beer-loving guests, Jamaica's national beer is light enough to leave room for turkey seconds (or thirds, or fourths).

Mains & Sides

Source: Wordpress

Source: Wordpress

  • Jamaican Jerk Chicken: There's a reason jerk stands pop up on virtually every Jamaican beach. Your Thanksgiving guests won't be disappointed with this as an alternative to traditional turkey. 
  • Pão de Queijo: If there's anything Americans love, it's cheese and bread -- so these simple, savory cheesy Brazilian rolls will go over well. 
  • Wasakaka Sauce: To spice up your main course, wasakaka is a popular Dominican topper made from citrus, parsley, garlic, and chili peppers. It pairs best with chicken. 
  • Gandules: Known commonly as pigeon peas, this easy side dish appears at Caribbean holiday meals in places like the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. For a delicious appetizer, whip up this Escabeche Pigeon Pea Crostini recipe. 

Desserts & Pousse-Café

  • Brigadeiros: These chocolate truffles are a celebratory staple in Brazil -- and they're as pretty as they are delicious. 
  • Pumpkin Flan: This recipe by Wendy Polisi puts a Thanksgiving spin on the traditional Mexican dessert.
  • Cafe de Oila: Mexico's signature cinnamon-infused treat is a perfect caffeine fix after a big meal.

Weekly Wanderlust: Bond Edition

As Spectre takes the box office by storm, and takes the audience on an impressive tour of Morocco to Mexico City, this week's wanderlust will inspire your next chic getaway fit for Bond. James Bond.