Around the World – Reggio Emilia & Milan, Italy

As we started our adventure in Reggio Emilia, we were fortunate enough to be invited to opening night at the local theater for “Dirty Dancing” and you know how much I love the red carpet.  It was wonderful being invited before anyone else to get a look behind the scenes and take photo’s of this lovely theater.  We were so blessed to be able to do this.

One of the great things about the region is the fresh made  Reggiano cheeses.  I never go to the region without visiting a cheese maker and getting a taste of the product.  I support the local grow slow movement by always purchasing cheese while there.  Hard cheese can be vacuum wrapped and easily transported back to USA with you.  I am always amazed at how they place their hands in boiling hot water to make this cheese.  Of course the end product is worth it.  One tip I got was never buy cheese that’s less than a year old and 2 years is usually preferred.  

After touring the cheese plant, we take a tour of the family farm which houses it’s own restaurant,  hotel, swimming pool and animal sanctuary.  

We also explored an artisan colony that houses operations for several all female businesses.  One of the businesses is an embroidery and restoration specialist who handles many pieces for the catholic church and their articles from the 1800’s.  She showed us the slow and meticulous painstaking method to repair, restore and clean valuable memorabilia.    There is also a winemaker housed in the colony and she specializes in Red Sparkling Wine, which of course we tasted and yes I was gifted with a bottle of each of her reds to take home.  It’s really good wine.  During my stay in the region, I was a guest at the Hotel Posta.  The hotel is centrally located right in the town square, walking distance to everything and a great place to stay.

Taste cheese, wine and good food are all things I look forward to when visiting Italy.  One of the most favorite things I always do while there is indulge in a hot chocolate.   When arriving in Milan and when departing Milan I had to sit and have it.  It is a luxury for sure that you just can’t indulge in everyday, but it’s not everyday, that I’m in Italy!!!! Ciao for now!!!


Hotels vs AirBNB

As many of you may know one of my many interests is travel and event planning.  It’s why I own my own agency White Orchid Travel & Events, LLC.    It is one of the many ways I’m able to use  my creativity to express myself and I love it.   I can only give my honest opinion which you may or not agree with.  As a woman of color,  I know that things can be different for me than my white counterparts.  So I am aware of this and although I don’t go around expecting to be treated differently,  I am keenly aware it could happen.

I do not recommend Airbnb for the above reason mentioned.  It seems that people of color, especially, black women are treated far more harshly and physically if something goes wrong or the host is unhappy about something.   I have seen the videos of women being manhandled, thrown down a flight of stairs, escorted by the police, etc.  I don’t go away and spend my money to be treated like that.   You cannot regulate people’s prejudices and stupidity.  You can only try to put yourself in as safe a situation as you possible can.  I know many women of color who have stated that they have had really good experiences using Airbnb and I’m happy that they have, but until all are treated well, it’s a concern.

The reasons I prefer a hotel over Airbnb anytime are simple.  A hotel wants your repeat business and referrals.  They count on them.  They will work with you and are much more open and flexible when it comes to checking out, extending your stay, meeting your needs, changing your reservation, etc.  In other words they will go out of their way to make it work if possible.  Worst case scenario and things can’t be worked out, they do not grab you, shove you, push you down stairs, throw your stuff out in the street, etc.  They call the police if necessary and ask them to escort you out.  Most people know when the police show up, its time to go.  However unpleasant, it’s usually an encounter that doesn’t end with physical removal.   Keep this in mind the next time you have to decide between the two.  I say do whatever works for you, but as for me, I will continue to use hotels over Airbnb every time.

Accessories – Sunglasses

Why is it when I go shopping for sunglasses, I never see any like this.  Dolce & Gabbana have some of the most gorgeous, unusual sunglasses out there.  Funky, eclectic and so stylish and chic!!!


Emilio Pucci




I know it doesn’t seem like it, but summer is coming again!!! Get your eye wear game on ladies!





Around The World – Acapulco, Mexico


Princess Mundo Imperial Hotel

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to attend an Expo in Acapulco, Mexico as well as do some sightseeing.  Mexico is a beautiful country full of lovely beaches, and places to lose oneself.   During my stay in Acapulco, I was a guest of the Princess Mundo Imperial which is right on the beach.  It’s a large hotel with several restaurants, a bar and places to grab a quick bite.  The bar is open late, but the restaurants seem to stop taking people at 10.  It’s a lovely property, but it is in need of some upgrades, but not enough to deter you from enjoying it’s location.  It has several sister properties so there’s a van/bus that goes around to each property about every 30-60 minutes or so.


All of the above photos were taken at the Expo.  We were greeted by children with balloons and there was a whole cast of characters throughout the center.

Mexico is very inexpensive, especially compared to the U.S.  We made several Wal-Mart runs while there because things were so much cheaper.  Some people were able to purchase medicine over the counter that requires a prescription in the U.S for pennies compared to what we pay at home.   One of the many things I did while there was visit Banyan Tree Cabo for lunch.  It was the first time in my life I ever had blue rice.  There were so many parties hosted for us.  One of my favorites was the AeroMexico party that was held in a hangar at the local airport.


Acapulco has come a long way and they are actively cultivating tourism dollars from the U.S. and Canada.  Looking to their North American neighbors to help continue to turn their city around and so far the effort is paying off.  It is a beautiful city.  The people are welcoming to tourists and it’s only going to get more and more popular.  That’s not to say it isn’t without it’s issues.  You should not walk alone at night or drive yourself around, but overall it’s a safe place to visit, just be smart.  When it is rediscovered and it will be rediscovered by the masses, you’ll wish you went while it was still awakening!!!!

Around the World – Antigua

I recently returned from a trip to the beautiful Caribbean island of Antigua.  What a wonderful time had by all. It is a breathtakingly beautiful island.

beach  peopleonbeach

The beaches are wonderful, the people are friendly and the food is good.  I had so much fun.  We took a boat ride around the island.  it makes two stops to give you beach time and while you’re on the beach, they prepare a delicious lunch for you.

theboat beachstoponboat  peopleonbeach

I will not forget the time I spent there and look forward to returning!!

prettyeyes pooloceanpoint walkwaybeach

The next time you’re looking for a tropical getaway, I suggest you try Antigua!!