Bodacious Biarritz

Biarritz: Breathtakingly Beautiful

La Grande Plage

Bobbing Heads in the Surf Capital of Europe

Steve & Me

I took a trip of a lifetime with my boyfriend, Steve, a while ago and now seems like the right time to write about it.

It was stunning and dramatic, sweet and endearing, intense and oh-so memorable–all very much like our relationship. It left us in awe and amazed and full of desire for more.

We both chose the destination; I chose France and Steve narrowed it down to Biarritz, an oceanside resort in southwest France in the Basque region that I had only visited once–very briefly–on a cold winter’s day during the research phase of my book The Riches of France: A Shopping and Touring Guide to the French Provinces. At that time, I did just a cursory tour of the town, one that was more focused on the boutiques of Biarritz than its spectacular coastal scene and its sensational surf.

Biarritz Beauty


With Steve, it was all about the surf. No surprise there, since this is where the waves roil in with the greatest, most consistent force in all of Europe. And Steve is big on surfing. It sounded like the perfect fit to me; he had the surf and I had France. What came as a surprise, however, was how he became so taken with the whole French experience and the French themselves.

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Holiday Online Shopping Recommendations 2015

Swiss Dog Collars and Leashes for Your Precious Pups from Alpen Schatz

Swiss Dog Collars and Leashes for Your Precious Pups from Alpen Schatz

Terrace Holiday-Pretty Plates from Quel Objet

Terafeu Holiday-Pretty Plates from Quel Objet

A Superlative Blanc de Blanc from Henri's Reserve

A Superlative Blanc de Blancs from Henri’s Reserve

Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to think about shopping. Oh wait, you’ve probably been thinking about it–and even doing some of it–the past week. Good on you if that’s the case. Others (like me) haven’t even begun to tackle their holiday shopping despite a deluge of offers that have flooded our inboxes.

I recommend keeping it simple and shopping online for those on your list that live a distance from you. Have that something special sent directly to their door, so that you don’t have to put up with all the wrapping, packaging and waiting in line at your local post office or shipper. And while you’re at it, pick up something for yourself because that’s just what we do when holiday shopping.

I showcase a curated list of favorite purveyors at my Online Shopping Page, most of whom offer discounts between 8 and 10% to Bonjour Colorado readers. Go directly there if you want my more lengthy descriptions. Otherwise, check out my highlights and some other add-ons below.

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Ljubljana, Slovenia: Where European and Balkan Culture Live On

Lovely Ljubljana

Lovely Ljubljana

I don’t often write about a place I haven’t visited. It’s even more unusual that I report on a destination with an almost unpronounceable name. At least for me. I wrote down my own phonetic spelling as Loo bee ahna, simply because I sometimes say words in my head as I write them, especially when they’re different. And I’ve been having trouble with this one.

This minor conundrum is slowly changing since I learned from two well-traveled Telluride locals, my friends Amy and Eileen, that Ljubljana is not only easy to pronounce but also an up and coming destination, one which should be put on any savvy traveler’s list. From what they both told me, in fact, I’d say Ljubljana has arrived and you should move it toward the top of your places-to-visit inventory, especially if you’re looking for good value in a European city where you’re not going to bump into Americans–or other tourists–at every turn.

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22 May 2013, 4:39pm
Europe Hotels & Lodging Travel:
Comments Off on Hotel Skeppsholmen: A Gem of a Boutique Hotel in Stockholm

Hotel Skeppsholmen: A Gem of a Boutique Hotel in Stockholm

Room with a Splendid View at Hotel Skeppsholmen in Stockholm

Room with a Splendid View at Hotel Skeppsholmen in Stockholm

It’s hard to believe we’re already practically on the eve of Memorial Day Weekend, America’s unofficial start to the summer. Here in Telluride, Colorado—like in other mountain towns across the West—this weekend marks the end of off-season, also known as shoulder season. Yes, from now through almost the end of September/early October, our prized tourist destination will be flooded with visitors from all over the world. Indeed, the town’s population will go from scant to near overflowing (at peak times such as during the Bluegrass Festival and over July 4th).

Even the locals are back in full swing, many fresh off of fascinating travels to far-flung lands. Most have come back with tales of adventure and chance encounters in foreign countries. Since I’ve been largely holed up at my desk, I’ve been listening with particular interest to their stories and impressions, while taking inventory of must-see places on my personal list. Europe still reigns supreme for me. And although I have traveled a lot throughout this storied continent, I’m continually drawn there for this reason or that.

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    This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Maribeth Clemente. This blog sometimes accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog is sometimes compensated to provide opinion on products, services, Web sites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for certain posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
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