TRAVEL

The Secret Lives of Renaissance Babies

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I first became fascinated with ugly Renaissance babies in 2011 when I paid a visit to the National Gallery of Umbria in Perugia. I had some time to kill and wandered around looking at all the Madonnas and other ladies with a baby and I was stunned at how … odd the infants looked. They…

How to Deal with Travel Stress

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I’ve got a trip coming up next week, visiting the Italian wine region of Umbria that includes a gala dinner for Montefalco producers and I spent a good part of my day trying to come up with dignified excuses for backing out at the last minute. Why, you ask? Well, in preparation for said trip,…

Pompeii Epiphany

Plaster cast of a Pompeii man overtaken by the lava.

Visiting Pompeii changed my life. Truly. I was standing outside the remains of a once-gracious Roman villa, surrounded by the frayed trappings of the city famously frozen in time, when it hit me. “We have got to redo the bathrooms.” Because, friends, that 2,000-year-old house, the one that had been rocked by earthquake around AD62…

Naked and afraid … in an Austrian sauna

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Let’s go to the sauna, she said. It’ll be fun, she said. No swimsuit? No problem! Austrian sauna etiquette is you go in starkers.It’s healthy! So there I was, standing outside the door of the sauna sans attire and clutching a not very capacious towel around my somewhat capacious person. And that’s when I saw…

FOOD & DRINK

Arsenic and old alcohol

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Did You Purchase or Consume California Wine That May Have Contained Arsenic? You May Have A Claim. Call Us Now! https://t.co/AMNgySyWIH — Wites & Kapetan (@SFLAttorneys) March 20, 2015 Read the shocking stories about the shocking levels of (alleged) arsenic in cheap wine? See the above little missive on Twitter asking you to be part…

Supreme Winelover

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I knew I liked Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when I found out that her nickname is “Notorious RBG.” But her latest revelation — specifically, the reason she was taking a wee snooze during the recent State of the Union address — has me in full fan-girl mode. “The audience for the most part…

CHOCOPALYPSE!!

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Note to self: Keep calm and carry on … a really big carry-on the next time we pop over to Merry Olde England. Why? Because this: As a result of a settlement with the Hershey’s Company, Let’s Buy British Imports, or L.B.B., agreed this week to stop importing all Cadbury’s chocolate made overseas. The company…

Police Pinpoint Purloined Pinot

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The Napa Valley Register reports that investigators have found most of the wine stolen from The French Laundry Christmas Day. It turned up in Greensboro, North Carolina, according to Napa County Sheriff’s Capt. Doug Pike. About $300,000 worth of high-end wine was stolen from the equally high-end French Laundry restaurant in Yountville in the Napa…

Does drinking white wine make ladies crazy? (No. No, it does not.)

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Can drinking Riesling make ladies lose their reason? The British newspaper the Daily Mail seems to think so, running this recent article in which consumers and experts weighed in on the mysteriously maddening powers of white wine. (Would this be a case of the Chablis Crazies? Chardonnay Shenanigans?) I’m going to cut to the chase…