An Enchanted Evening at St. Regis Doha

St. Regis Doha Qatar

Doha, Qatar hadn't really been on my radar for leisure travel, but when the invitation arrived from Qatar Airways to attend their media event announcing their chef ambassadors and new premium cabin menu, I couldn't say no. The experience itself was unbelievable for me because 1. I never even thought of traveling to the Middle East for pleasure, and 2. Qatar is a country that truly surprised me with its marriage of old and new. During my visit to Qatar, I was introduced to various attractions, … [Read more...]

Relaxing Retreats

Wine glass at Houmas House (c) Shannon Hurst Lane

I've been on a mission to find some of the most peaceful retreats and destinations spas around North America. I've also been fortunate to visit a good many of these places during the course of my travels over the past decade.  Here are few places that stand out for me. El Monte Sagrado in Taos, New Mexico I spent a few days in Taos, New Mexico at El Monte Sagrado during the opening of their renovated spa. Taos itself is an interesting destination, where the people who live there seem to … [Read more...]

Innovative Viking Outdoor Cooking School to Open at Hilton Capitol Center in Baton Rouge

One of my favorite hotels along the Mississippi River and my favorite in the city of Baton Rouge is the Hilton Capitol Center. It's an historic property that breathes legends of Louisiana politics and the charm of Louisiana's capitol city, welcoming visitors with a charm that is only Baton Rouge. One thing we have perfected here in Baton Rouge is the art of outdoor cooking. Most Baton Rouge women are raised with a love of outdoor meals (when the weather is right) and how to make tailgating a … [Read more...]

Top Resorts for a Couples Retreat in Bora Bora

St Regis Bora Bora

I don’t know about you, but every time I see that funny commercial for the movie Couples Retreat starring Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, I want to pack up and head to a tropical resort. Yes, the movie itself looks funny, in a cheesy way, but the setting is to-die for. The question is, where is it? The film site is actually The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, but here are numerous resorts in Bora Bora that would make for a romantic getaway or couples retreat. Here are the top ten (with direct … [Read more...]

Press Trip: Plano, Texas


I was recently hosted by Plano, TX to attend the Plano Balloon Fest and take a ride in a hot air balloon. Unfortunately, the weather didn't want to cooperate and I had a repeat of my last hot air balloon ride. No worries, though. I found out that there's a bit more to Plano than one would think. Here's a video of my experience. Special thanks to the Plano CVB and partners. … [Read more...]

The Real Kellerman’s from Dirty Dancing

Mountain Lake Hotel flickr image by carl_r_grant

I was 13 years old when the movie “Dirty Dancing” starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey was released. My friends and I dreamed of being Baby and dancing a bit dirty with the hotness of Patrick Swayze’s dance instructor character, Johnny Castle. I bought the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack with my allowance and in fact, I STILL have that cassette tape today. I would play that soundtrack over and over, singing in my room dancing around to Bruce Channel’s “Hey Baby” and “I’ve Had the Time of my … [Read more...]

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort


My daughter and I took a visit to Disney’s Contemporary Resort during the Resort Showcase in February. We were able to get a sneak peek of the Contemporary Resort’s new 15 story Bay Lake Tower. We checked out various resorts at Walt Disney World, but the décor at the Contemporary Resort’s Bay Lake Tower got the best rating from my tween. “Awesome!” is the one word that came out of her mouth. She was ready to stay in the unit we toured and said it was the best place in all of Disney for a … [Read more...]

Best Romantic Resorts in The Florida Keys

Beach at Little Palm Island by Shannon Hurst Lane

Are you thinking of getting married or renewing your vows and want something exotic? Are you looking for a romantic getaway that caters to various lifestyles? What if you don’t have a passport? The Florida Keys is a destination for every type of traveler. I’ve been there with a kid, and without. I even spent a week there, just checking out hotels and resorts to see if they are places I would recommend to my readers. Here are some of my top romantic resorts in the Florida Keys (or Conch … [Read more...]