Good morning Traveler,

"That was the absolute coolest experience of my life. I haven’t had that much fun in so long!"

Last Saturday, I woke up to that text from Allison, our 21 year old daughter living in Aspen. She had been at the X-games the night before. Her first time. When we talked she gave us the run down on it all and told us she paid extra to get up to the half-pipe. You can see her photo below (and it links to a video). She was right next to the cameraman, which meant all of the snowboarders were doing their flips right in front of her.

I asked her how much extra the half-pipe was.


$85 is a lot of money to her. But the difference in her experience between a regular ticket and the half-pipe ticket had an outsized effect on her enjoyment that night. And following that she accidentally took home the wrong shuttle, where she ended up walking home and capturing that beautiful scene above of the X Games lit up in front of the mountain on a starry night.

It was the perfect reminder of how experiences are the highlights of life.

The goal when planning vacations with your kids is to know what they love and what types of experiences light them up so we can find out ways to make them happen.

And that's different for everyone. I happen to be in Miami with our other daughter enjoying the sunshine and warmth. She is happy getting in a morning ride on the Peloton or pilates by the pool, then laying on the beach reading a book and inviting her friend, who goes to U Miami, to join us. And of course some delicious dinners out.

We arrived Sunday at 10:15a (2:30a wake up for 7a flight) so we had a full first day. We stopped by to see one of my dear friends and caught up with her family then we were off on a boat out and about near Key Biscayne. We were with a group of her friends, who are so lovely, including many I'd met in Cartagena last year. The weather was perfect, the kiteboarders and windsurfers were out and we were able to go to the place I was eager to see. Stiltsville. Read more about it in this week's highlight below.

And for me I'm going to enjoy spending time with Jessie, riding a bike down the beach paths, waking early to watch the sunrise, doing hotel site visits and finding us fun restaurants. The hotel we are in is one of my absolute favorites in Miami for families with teens/young adults. I'll include it in an upcoming Where to Next so I can share all of the details.

Enjoy your week!




  • This week's highlight - Stiltsville
  • Where to Next? Four Seasons Papagayo
  • Interesting Articles


Stiltsville is the place I alluded to in last week's email. 

I just recently learned about it and as soon as I did I was eager to see it. 

I love discovering pieces of history that aren't well known.

Stiltsville has a fascinating story. 

There were originally 27 houses, built in the middle of Biscayne Bay. 

Only six are still standing.

The first shack was built in the 1930's before the area was part of the national park system. In 1985, the land on which the structures were built was deeded to the Federal Government as part of Biscayne National Park. Unfortunately in 1992, Hurricane Andrew decimated many and left only seven buildings standing. Just last year one of the remaining seven burned down. 

Currently a non-profit called the Stiltsville Trust oversees the structures. If the structures become damaged, they can only be repaired if there is less than 50% that needs to be fixed. If it's more than 50% then it's doomed to the sea. 

Public access is by permit only. But if you are out on a boat in Miami, you can see them from afar. They will not be around forever, so if you'd like to see these buildings before it's too late come to Miami sooner rather than later. 

Visiting Miami is always a fun contrast to our fairly rural New England life. It's a place where some people have boats almost as big as their houses...

And it's where incredible restaurants are on every corner. Walking through the Grove with my friend, she took us to Bodega Taqueria for the smoothest margarita slushies (get yours to-go) and showed us the door to a secret back room speakeasy.

Monday we ate at a restaurant recommended by a colleague, Abbale Televivian Kitchen. Even though it was Monday, it was full. We enjoyed lots of small plates including crunchy cauliflower, za'atar hand-cut potato chips and falafel. The hummus tahini was absolutely delicious, especially served with warm bread right out of the oven.

📷 Abbale

Last night we ventured next door to the Setai hotel to eat at Jaya. They are known for their southeast and northern Asian foods. And their shows. During the week around 8:30p you'll enjoy a fire dancer walking through the restaurant (click below for video). And on the weekends the Asian Night Bazaar dinner has a more elaborate performance.

We enjoyed delicious pad Thai, fried rice, dumplings, mocktails and a chocolate cherry bomb:

As an early riser, the sunrise is one of my favorite parts of the day. Here's the view while I was writing this from the terrace moments ago...

🌟 Our clients will be heading to sunny Costa Rica this month. They are staying at the five-star Four Seasons Resort at Peninsula Papagayo – an absolute favorite of mine!  


Why is the Four Seasons Resort at Peninsula Papagayo so special?

There are SO MANY reasons!

  • The resort is perfect for families or couples, and appeals to adventure seekers, wellness travelers, foodies and cultural explorers. There is something for everyone!
  • There are oceanfront rooms with private terraces and 3-5 bedroom villas with private pools available. Some villas have butlers to prepare your bbq or drive you where needed in your private golf cart
  • The dining options are outstanding! Choose from Costa Rican street food at the Palapita Tap House, crudos and tapas at the beach bar, Italian and seafood at Pesce and so much more right on the property 
  • If you are interested in getting out into the community, 4S partners with Creciendo Juntos (growing together), giving you an opportunity to learn about the local culture, meet families and contribute to the betterment of their schools


 Do as much or as little as you like:

  • Go paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling and fishing
  • Take a mixology or rum tasting class to learn more about the specialty drinks and cocktails
  • Play pickleball on one of three courts or tennis on their clay courts
  • Make a tee time at the Arnold Palmer designed par-72 course overlooking the waters of Bahia de Culebra
  • Relax at the two beaches, one on either side of the peninsula – catch sunrise and sunset in the same day
  • Luxuriate in their heavenly spa 

And I personally recommend the stair climb/hike that I did in the early morning from Blanca beach up and over the hill onto Prieta. A great way to start your day!


‼️ Don’t miss…heading to surf school! SurfX is the surfing program developed exclusively for the Four Seasons Papagayo. For first-timers and pros alike, catch waves at Costa Rica’s most famous surfing locations. 

There are too many activities at the Four Seasons Papagayo to list, so check them out here. This is the perfect property for a week long stay in Costa Rica or for the last few days of a wider adventure to the volcano and cloud forest.

Of course when I book your stay at any Four Seasons, you will get the VIP treatment and extra perks.

📷 Four Seasons at Peninsula Papagayo


There Are 250 UNESCO Creative Cities. But You Should Really See These 10, Fodor's

You Can Finally Get to JFK Airport From New York’s Grand Central, AFAR

Scores of Auckland Airport flights cancelled as stranded travellers finally leave flooded terminal, NZ Herald

What is set-jetting and where will it take you in 2023?, Good Housekeeping

(this article is missing White Lotus in Sicily)

13 Small Towns in Spain That Will Make You Forget About the Big Cities, Condé Nast

The Great Escape: 6 Wellness Travel Trends For Black Women In 2023, Essence

All-inclusive resorts want you to forget their cheesy reputation, The Washington Post

Luxury Travel: What a Million-Dollar Vacation Looks Like, Aol

Where to Eat in 2023,Eater

The best food cities to travel to in 2023

16 Best Island Vacations in the World, According to Our Travel Specialists, Condé Nast

(If you aren't able to access an NYT, WSJ or Washington Post article, send me a note and I'll send it to you in a PDF.)


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