Têt, the days-long New Year celebration, is by far the most important holiday in Vietnam. Based on the Chinese lunar calendar, Têt falls on a different day each year. Preparations begin weeks in advance. Homes are first scoured to remove any bad luck from the previous year, then lavishly decorated with “good luck” colors of red and gold, bedecked with colorful flowers, miniature kumquat trees, and families begin to welcome home far-flung relatives as the majority of Vietnamese return to their ancestral homes for the holidays.
Têt can last for several days, beginning days or weeks ahead, with preparing traditional New Year foods, and ancestral altars are cleaned and refreshed with heaps of foods and gifts for the family’s ancestors. The emphasis on honoring one’s ancestors is an important ritual of Têt, especially for those who’ve passed away that year. The various offerings are meant for the departed to use on their journey to (hopefully) heaven.
We were honored by an invitation from our young guide, Quan, to join his family for a New Year Eve’s dinner at his apartment. “Happy,” as he liked to be…
We’re fans of both AKG
headphones by Harman
and were excited about their latest – the Everest Elite 700
, which we included in our annual Holiday Gift Guide
round-up this past year. We thought we’d also look at the AKG N60NC
headphones since they are noise-cancelling on-ear headphones designed with travel in mind.
The AKG N60NC
headphones deliver AKG superior sound while also utilizing best in class active noise cancelling to minimize the disruptive sounds encountered on everything from planes to trains. The other fabulous feature for travelers are their 30 hours of battery life, a godsend for those long flights and layovers. And, apparently when immersing yourself in your music for long stints, the N60NC can still be used in passive mode after the battery dies out.
Accented with premium material such as aluminum, memory foam and leather, it is also fairly lightweight as well, another great feature for avid travelers. In addition, these premium headphones come with a 3D-Axis folding mechanism, a fully-accessorized travel package, a one button universal remote/mic cable and a USB charging cable.
The headphones reduce ambient noise especially when travelling to create
A heads up all San Franciscans who don’t yet have New Year’s Eve
plans. This year, the Westin St. Francis Hotel
is holding a CIRQUE
inspired benefit ball and event on their Penthouse Floor, which not only boasts fabulous views of the city, but has so many activities and eye candy to keep you engaged for the evening, you won’t want the night to end. What an incredible way to bring in the 2016 year! For starters, they’ll have roaming and some stationed sets featuring a world champion Cyr Wheelist, Stiltwalkers, a Juggler, Unicyclist, Hoop Dancer & more.
If that’s not enough to get you excited, there’ll also have a live band/duo and four DJ’s playing a mix of Top 40, house, electronic dance music and of course some classics. Unlike so many other events which only include hosted drinks for a short duration of the evening and no food, this high level classy event will have a hosted Open Bar and Hors D’oeuvres and there’s also a smaller 100 person dinner in advance. What else I love about their Penthouse extravaganza is that 100% net proceeds go towards local non-profits.
Also at the Westin on the Mezzanine…
Here’s our updated guide for the Fall/Winter season of 2015 for “must-see” shows on and off Broadway in the Big Apple. T
hey’re all pretty different, but we’re certain there’s one here that will speak to you.
I’ve seen a few of these books-turned-to-Broadway performances over the years (i.e. A Time To Kill, Gypsy), and have to give it to the folks behind Misery, this was the most entertaining yet!
You’ll love this if
: You’re a Stephen King, Bruce Willis, or Laurie Metcalf fan! Truly one of those “the stars take over Broadway” pieces, it’s a powerful performance that brings to life one of Stephen King’s most acclaimed novels.
: Successful romance novelist Paul Sheldon (Bruce Willis) is rescued from a car crash by his “Number One Fan,” Annie Wilkes (Laurie Metcalf), and wakes up captive in her secluded home. While Paul is convalescing, Annie reads the manuscript to his newest novel and becomes enraged when she discovers the author has killed off her favorite character, Misery Chastain. Annie forces Paul to write a new “Misery” novel, and he quickly realizes Annie has no intention of letting him go anywhere. The irate Annie has Paul
Last weekend was a splendid, exploratory day for us in New Orleans. We decided to walk the distance to try brunch (which was actually more like lunch, by the time we got there) at Elizabeth’s, followed by a stroll along Crescent Park (the photo above) and a wander through the French Market, where we bought some really amazing art work and I got a new pair of sunglasses and a fun face mask (hey, when in New Orleans, right?!).
On our way back to our hotel, we were trying to find St. Louis Cemetery (which we did, although unfortunately it was closed for the day) and we stumbled across Basin St. Station (definitely worth a look on your way to the cemetery for information on the evolution of transportation in New Orleans) and the New Orleans Jazz and History Festival, which was really fun.
Here’s a visual journey through our day …
We don’t have a dog, but I need this sign!
Walking through the Marigny section of…
For the second night in a row, I hadn’t bolted the door. When I woke up, I had that dizzying feeling you get when you’ve passed through too many airports in a short period of time, wondering where you were and what day it was.
There wasn’t a sound to be heard except for a distant bird’s call that didn’t remotely sound familiar. I tried to put my attention on it so my mind didn’t race off into the land of thought, the ever land of thought that never seems to shut down. What hadn’t I done the day before that still needed my attention and all the things that so often steals precious time away from the serenity that this precious island had to offer.
I was on the very same Caribbean
island that I read about for the first time when I was ten, and while I hadn’t heard of Reggae or the Blues yet, the novel painted such a rich picture that I knew the rhythm and beat by heart, so much so that I imagined drums on the ceiling of my bedroom and if anyone ever asked me, I would swear they…
If you’re over the age of 30, chances are you’ve not only heard of The Sound of Music
, but likely grown up watching it with your family. While the birthplace of all it was in and around Salzburg Austria
, oddly enough Austrians and Germans didn’t grow up watching it nor did it create such a groundswell effect locally like it did in other countries.
In October, I was invited to Austria
to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music,
which was originally released in 1965, a pivotal year for so many cultural and historical events. Truth be told, I figured the movie (and musical) was more of a phenomena in the U.S. given its picture perfect Hollywood movie style with Julie Andrews at the helm, however on the ground in Salzburg, I learned that it was a huge hit in places you’d least expect it to be, like Australia and China.
We watched The Sound of Music
every year as a family for as long as I remember and no doubt, as a child, I watched it more than once some years. As a little girl, who can’t relate to the “You
At any given moment, there’s a plethora of shows to see in New York City, fitting any personality. These three are shows I’ve seen recently, which I think would make for a great dinner-and-a-show date night.
It Shoulda Been You
The tag line to the show goes: “You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll be home by 10.”, so you bet this was a winner in getting the hubby to the theater! Seriously–I’d say this has to legit be the funniest show on Broadway right now. With a stage full of blushing brides, nervous grooms, overbearing moms, unexpected guests, and more twists than a bar full of martinis, It Shoulda Been You will make you fall in love with Broadway (and the bloke sitting next to you!) all over again.
You’ll love this if: Modern day romantic comedies are your jam! The songs are catchy, characters lovable and relatable (with their many flaws and all!), and it’s really a perfect show for your better half that may not be QUITE as in love with everything musical theater as yourself…it’s just so funny they’ll forget they’re on Broadway!
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
One of Shakespeare’s more whimsical plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream takes…
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