Aussie Lingo – And the Giggles are free!

If you’re heading to Australia, you may want to learn a few phrases.  While they certainly speak English, they do have a unique vocabulary that makes Aussie’s all the more endearing.  Personally, I’m aiming to avoid the root rats, but ratbag might be my new favorite word!

Examples of why you need the vocab – both could be seriously misconstrued!:
– Need some good oil for Oz in April? You need your jumpers and sunnies, but not your thongs.  
– For tea or brekkie, take the footpath and hold on to your ankle biter, pass the servo and go half a click.  The banana benders are heading that way so just follow them. 

The lists are long, but here were some of my favs….

Ankle biter : small child
Apples, she’ll be : It’ll be all right
Arvo : afternoon
Back of Bourke : a very long way away
Banana bender : a person from Queensland
Bathers : swim suit
Bikkie : biscuit (also “it cost big bikkies” – it was expensive)
Billy : teapot. Container for boiling water.
Bloke : man, guy
Bog in : commence eating, to attack food with enthusiasm
Boozer : a pub
Bottle shop : liquor shop
Brekkie : breakfast
Brown-eyed mullet : a turd in the sea (where you’re swimming!)
Budgie smugglers : men’s bathing costume
Butcher : small glass of beer in South Australia – From the theory that a butcher could take a quick break from his job, have a drink and be back at work
BYO : unlicensed restaurant where you have to Bring Your Own grog, also similar party or barbecue
Chokkie : chocolate
Click : kilometre – “it’s 10 clicks away”
Clucky : feeling broody or maternal
Coathanger : Sydney Harbour bridge
Cobber : friend
Coldie : a beer
Come a gutser : make a bad mistake, have an accident
Cook (noun) : One’s wife
Crack a fat : get an erection
Dag : a funny person, nerd, goof
Daks : trousers
Doovalacky : used whenever you can’t remember what something is called. Thingummyjig, whatsit.
Footy : Australian Rules football
Franger : condom
G’Day : hello!
Give it a burl : try it, have a go
Gobful, give a : to abuse, usually justifiably (“The neighbours were having a noisy party so I went and gave them a gobful”)
Going off : used of a night spot or party that is a lot of fun – “the place was really going off”
Good oil : useful information, a good idea, the truth
Good onya : good for you, well done
Goog, as full as a : drunk. “Goog” is a variation of the northern English slangword “goggie” meaning an egg.
Grog : liquor, beer (“bring your own grog, you bludger”)
Hooroo : goodbye
Kangaroos loose in the top paddock : Intellectually inadequate (“he’s got kangaroos loose in the top paddock”)
Mate : buddy, friend
No worries! : Expression of forgiveness or reassurance (No problem; forget about it; I can do it; Yes, I’ll do it)
Oldies : parents – “I’ll have to ask my oldies”
Oz : Australia!
Plate, bring a : Instruction on party or BBQ invitation to bring your own food. It doesn’t mean they’re short of crockery!
Plonk : cheap wine
Porky : Lie, untruth (pork pie = lie)
Quid, make a : earn a living – “are you making a quid?”
Ratbag : mild insult
Ripper : great, fantastic – “it was a ripper party”
Roo bar : stout bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroos (also bull bar)
Root (verb and noun) : synonym for f*ck in nearly all its senses: “I feel rooted”; “this washing machine is rooted”; “(s)he’s a good root”. A very useful word in fairly polite company.
Root rat : somebody who is constantly looking for sex.
Rotten : drunk – “I went out last night and got rotten”
Seppo : an American
Servo : petrol station
Sheepshagger : A New Zealander
Sheila : a woman
Squizz (noun) : look – “take a squizz at this”
Stickybeak : nosy person
Sunnies : sunglasses
Tall poppies : successful people
Tallie : 750ml bottle of beer
Tea : supper
Thongs : flip flops
Tucker : food
Tucker-bag : food bag

Phillip Island’s Clifftop Boutique Hotel – A Gem I Should Keep to Myself

CLiff top - smith beach sunset

Sunset at Clifftop Boutique Hotel – Smiths Beach

There have been many times in my travels I realize how fortunate I am to have seen so much of the world and find amazing places.  Sometimes I love those places so much, I’m tempted to keep them my secret.  One of those is the Clifftop Boutique Hotel on Phillip Island.

My work trip to Melbourne was unexpectedly extended 6 days.  This meant I was to remain in the city over the weekend when the Grand Prix rolled into town.  The ever so pretentious Grand Hyatt, agreed to accomodate me but was going to increase my rate from $245 to $600/night.  Clearly the demand for rooms was pushing prices sky high and every other hotel was booked.  Knowing my expense report wouldn’t fly at that rate, I had to find a quick plan B for the weekend. 

Phillip Island seemed to call out to me as I was researching my options.  The lure of the ocean, the peace of the countryside, and the thought of spending Saturday surfing or walking along nature trails seemed to be just what I needed.  On top of that, the Clifftop Hotel was well reviewed, met my budget, and most importantly, had an oceanview room free both nights that I was going to be homeless.

Clifftop - view

The Clifftop Boutique Hotel

Upon arrival, I was immediately struck by the scenery.  Perched on a lush green cliff above a beautiful beach ringed by craggy red rocks and perfectly khaki sand, I new immediately it was perfect.  As I entered, I was drawn in by a wall of windows that front the ocean and then greeted by the lovely, smiling face of one of the owners.  She took extraordinary care of me during my stay, booking my activities and meals as well as giving very good guidance about the best of the island.

My Room - Ocean Suite #3

My Room – Ocean Suite #3

My room also did not disappoint.  I fell in love with it right away.  It was what I wish my own beach house  in Florida looked like…Warm but modern, sophisticated yet laid back, and with the most exceptional views. Being here was blissful. 

Clifftop - view from my room

View from my room

Smiths Beach at Clifftop Hotel.  Photo by David Kleinert

Smiths Beach at Clifftop Hotel. Photo by David Kleinert

In addition to the care of the owner and the beauty of the rooms/views, there were other perks.  There is a private path down to the secluded beach, where I felt myself drawn.  When I resisted that pull, the private porch overlooking the water allowed me to soak in the scenery while I worked on my laptop.

Mad Hatter Tea Party Cake

Mad Hatter Tea Party Cake

The other things that made my stay a delight was that Clifftop is a happy place, owned by a beautiful family.  They were having a birthday and the owner, who is an extraordinary cook on top of everything else, made amazing goodies, including a Mad Hatter Tea Party cake.

I can’t adequately give Clifftop its due in words.  It’s a special place that I hope I get to visit again.  If I do, it won’t be soon enough.    Thank you, Clifftop, for a perfect weekend.
If you decide to come, visit their website. They take online bookings as well as have gift certificates if you are looking for a gift for someone special.

1 Marlin St Smiths Beach VIC 3922
(03) 5952 1033

*Please note there was no compensation for this blog review.  The opinions expressed were solely my own and completely heartfelt.

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Driving On The Wrong Side Of The Road – Eek!

driving - white kuncklesWhile I’ve been to 27 different countries, I’ve never had the pleasure of learning to drive on the left hand side of the road.  I usually use public transport or employ a driver.  But here I am in Australia, where there is no shortage of land.  I needed to get to Phillip Island, about two hours outside of Melbourne, where I planned to spend a weekend on the rural coast.

I started driving when I was 12, am adept at using manual transmissions, so I didn’t even think twice about it…Hmmmm, mistake number one.  To start, I went to the wrong side of the car to open the door.  However, the funniest bit was my attempt to get out of the Avis car park (Aussie speak for parking garage). 

After I finally got in the right door, I settled a few minutes, checked my mirrors, moved the seat, all the normal things you do when you get into a rental car.  I was sorted out and ready to go but I hiccupped a few times trying to remember to stay on the left hand side of the tightly parked garage.  I was doing okay, though.  That is, until I met another car.  I tried to turn on my blinker and hit the windshield wipers.  Then I couldn’t get the wipers off and instead they started going faster.  About that same time I realized I was too much in the middle of the path so the other car couldn’t get around me. 

I decided I should be courteous, forget about the wipers and just get out of the way.  Unfortunately, I looked up and realized the other driver was an impossibly hot guy in an Audi laughing at me.  Completely flustered, I managed to get over enough to give way to him.  With my wipers still running on full speed, he pulled up beside me and rolled his window down.  Mortified, I rolled mine down as well.  Mr. Hot Audi said, “Hey, no worries, you’re doing great, just go slow!”  Oof – utter embarrassment.

Driving - cute guy audi

Some other Mr. Hot Audi

All in all it turned out okay.  I made it to Phillip Island without incident and only two hours of white knuckled granny driving as proof of my challenge.

If you’re driving on the wrong side of the road for the first time, I recommend the following:

-Try to always go to the right side of the car to get in because it’s rather embarrassing if you don’t. Several times I had to pretend I meant to go to the passenger side and put my purse on the seat.
– Anytime you turn right or left, pause for another second. Make sure you’re going into the correct lane and not just following your instinct.
– While your wipers will surely get a work out since they’re on the side you’re used to using for blinkers, just try to think about it every time you need to signal.
– When unsure, I just told myself, “stay to the left, stay to the left”
– Remember the fast lanes are opposite from what you’re used to.
– Look in your mirrors, all of them.
– Do get GPS.
– Finally, and most importantly, don’t make eye contact with hot guys in Audis – especially if you’re in a Camry.

Chin Chin – A Magical Meal in Melbourne

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This week I’m on a whirlwind work trip to Melbourne, Australia.  After spending 28 hours in transit (in coach) to get here,  battling a 16 hour time difference jet lag, the start of a cold, and managing 15+ hour work days, I’m exhausted.  Mind you, I recognize that many people would love to have these problems, so I’m grateful at the same time.

As my meetings wound down and I returned to my hotel, I knew that once I went up to my room I wouldn’t be venturing out again.  So I mustered the energy and I went straight to dinner.  Thinking I was going to be stuck with the senior citizen early bird special, what I found was perhaps the best meal I’ve had in over a year!

Chin Chin & Go Go is a restaurant and bar in downtown Melbourne just off the tony address of Russell and Collins where my hotel the Grand Hyatt is located.  With virtually every haute couture label in existence within a stones throw away, I was pleasantly surprised to wander down Flinders Lane and find this little gem. 

Cool, funky, and focused on food, I knew as soon as I walked in I was in for a treat.  I settled into a small table and was immediately impressed with the cocktail list.  Innovative and interesting concoctions aplenty, with descriptions that made my mouth water.

Chin Chin Barramundi

Barramundi and Carmelized Pork Belly

I ordered a side and a main dish, both of which ranked among the best things I’ve put in my mouth in a VERY long time.  The main was crispy barramundi with green apple salad, and carmelized pork belly with peanuts, chili, and lemongrass.  It comes with two mounds of food – the fish and salad on one side and pork with chili on the other.  I was told to mix the two together, and what resulted was nothing short of magic.  The barramundi was perfectly light, accented by the tart, tangy sweetness of apples and what seemed like a sauce with a touch of vinegar.  When combined with the deep, rich carmelized flavor of the pork, the heat of the chili, and texture of the peanuts and salad, it all came together in a way that was perfection. 

Son in Law Eggs with Chili

Son in Law Eggs with Chili

The barramundi & pork dish would have been enough to make me sing all by itself.  Fortunately, I also had also ordered the son-in-law eggs with chili – more out of curiosity than anything.  What arrived was pure bliss…think soft boiled egg, battered with the most impossibly light coating, gently fried in such a way that there was not even a hint of oil, shared on a plate with sliced chili, fresh basil, and a tangy, dark sauce that complimented it perfectly.  The softness of the egg combined with the heat and flavor from the chilis and sauce again demonstrated the genius of the chef.  I found myself thinking, where has this dish been all my life? 

Sadly, the next thought was – oh, in Melbourne, Australia….far, far away.  Not exactly somewhere I can visit anytime I like.  However, with another 6 days here, I have no doubt I will have to return to Chin Chin – I simply won’t be able to stay away!

According to their website,  “Chin Chin Restaurant is open 11am till late, 7 days a week and focusses on South-East Asian cuisine with Benjamin Cooper as its executive chef.  We’re modelled on the hawker dining halls of Asia with a shared-eating concept and therefore have a walk-in only policy except for one table of 10-12.  We aim to serve you the freshest ingredients and all our sauces, pastes and relishes are made in-house.  We are open every day of the year except for Xmas day.  Our wine list has an all-Australian focus and every quarter we feature a local winemaker.”

Throw A Dinner Party That’s Actually Fun With Raclette

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One of the reasons I love to travel is that it exposes me to many new kinds of culinary adventures.  So many adventures, that it seems I can’t even recall them all.  In my mid twenties I spent two weeks in Switzerland and discovered a traditional cheese meal called raclette.  Those memories came flooding back when I was recently in Park City and attended a work dinner at a restaurant which served us raclette in front of a roaring fire.

With its roots in Switzerland, Raclette refers to a round of cheese that is traditionally heated in front of a fire and then scraped onto diners plates.  Our dinner in Park City used the traditional method and I fell in love with raclette all over again.  Warm, creamy, melted cheese – what’s not to love!

Raclette - Traditional Fire

Raclette – Traditional Fire

Since most people don’t have a stone hearth large enough to cook dinner, a more modern way of cooking and serving raclette was created.  It involves the use of an electric table-top grill and small pans, or coupelles.  The coupelles heat the slices of cheese along with other accompaniments. 

The cheese is brought to the table sliced, accompanied by platters of small firm potatoes (Bintje, Charlotte or Raclette varieties), gherkins, meats and seafood, paprika, and other bits of goodies. The sides and cheese are put in the coupelles then placed under the grill to melt and brown the cheese.  It’s a bit like fondue but using your own melting tray instead of a communal bowl.  It lends itself to an interactive, fun, relaxed dining party, with the meal often running to several hours.

Upon my return from Park City, I decided to throw a raclette party myself.  As only appropriate, it turned out to be a snowy night in Charlotte.  My condo has floor-to-ceiling windows, so the scenery was beautiful and while we we’re in the Alps completely appropriate.  We couldn’t have had more fun and the raclette as a smash hit.

If you plan to have a raclette party, I recommend making sure you have plenty of time for preparation.  While your guests will be cooking, the work cutting up all the sides and cheese is substantial. 

Most popular accoutrements from my party were:
– Pineapple
– Shrimp with truffle butter
– Gherkin pickles with Hungarian paprika
– Filet mignon with cremini mushrooms
– Cherry tomatoes with turkey bacon

Some of the wines that are commonly recommended to serve are Savoy, Fendant, Riesling, and Pinot Gris.  As always, I like to serve things most people have never tried before.  As such, I served a variety of wines that all worked well:
– Sincerely 2010 Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa
– Santa Margherita 2010 Pinot Grigio from Italy
– Edi Simcic 2011 Rubikon from Slovenia
– Weingut Michlits 2011 Pinot Noir Frizzante (ie bubbles) from Austria

If you plan to host a raclette party and need to shop for it:
To buy a raclette machine – visit,, or
To buy raclette cheese – Whole Foods and Dean & Deluca often carry it, Traders Joe’s carries it during the holidays, and you can always get it online at sites like

Important Things to Know Before Going to Budapest, Hungary

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Heading to Budapest?  Here are some helpful hints!

General  It is important to know the difference between Buda and Pest (pronounced ‘Pescht’). Until a few hundred years ago, they were separate cities. Buda is on the west side of the river, is a hilly, residential area that also is home to the Castle district. Pest is on the east side and contains the business district, the Jewish Quarter, and more affordable accommodations and fare.

1.  In the airport, there is an ATM in baggage claim, which is an easy way to get forint (Hungarian currency or HUF).  200 HUF roughly equals $1.
2.  From the airport, the best way to get to your hotel is to take the minibuses, which are very reasonable (look to your right when exiting customs).  One way the cost is 2,990 HUF or about $14.50.

Getting Around
1.  Only take a taxi from your hotel, never hail one from the street.  Taxis are not as safe in Budapest as they are in cities elsewhere.  If you do need a taxi and you’re somewhere other than your hotel, go into a restaurant or pub and ask one of the staff to call one for you.  They’ll call one from a reputable company and you’ll be less likely to be ripped off.  Fortunately the transit system in Budapest is very good so you shouldn’t need them too often.
2.  Do take the buses, trains, and trams whenever possible.  They’re everywhere, frequent, and cheap.  When you get on the bus/train/tram, no one will take your ticket.  You have to use the orange boxes to validate your ticket each time.  To do so, simply stick the ticket in the slot.  If a ticket checker audits the car and your fare isn’t validated the fine is 6,000 HUF.  Also, tickets aren’t for sale on the street, so you’ll need to get them from a hotel or train station.  I found a weeklong pass was the best.
3.  Do not buy the Budapest card, a transportation and museum pass all in one. Unless you plan a museum marathon for 72 hours (the longest length available), it is less expensive to pay for transport and museum fees separately as needed.

What to do when you’re there
1.  As I mentioned in previous posts, do join a free walking tour.  From this overview you can decide which are the most important highlights that will best match your interests.
2.  The best place to buy food and souvenirs is the Grand Market Hall. It’s a two-story building with all sorts of delights.  A traditional market is on the ground floor with vegetables, meats, grocery goods, bakery items aplenty.  On the second floor are local textiles, souvenirs, restaurants and food stalls.
3.  When booking a hotel room, make sure it has air conditioning if you’re planning on a summer visit.  I found this one out the hard way!
4.  Do go at night to the little bars in the Jewish Quarter called ruin bars or ‘romkocsma’ in Hungarian.  They’re fun and a part of the culture.
5.  The language is hard, there’s no way around it.  Do at least know a few basic words, thank you in particular…you don’t want to be a rude American after all!

Hello or Bye = Szia (sounds like “See Ya”)
Goodbye = Viszlát (sounds like “veeslat”)
Yes / No  = Igen / Nem  
How are you? = Hogy vagy?  
Thank you = Köszönöm (sounds like “kozonom”)
Thank you very much = Köszönöm szépen
Good morning = Jó reggelt
Good afternoon = Jó napot  
Good evening = Jó estét
Cheers! = Egészségédre!
You’re welcome = Szívesen  
Sorry! / Excuse me!  = (to apologize = Bocsánat!) (to gain attention = Elnézést!)

Food Tips
1.  More often than not, salad refers to pickled vegetables as opposed to the green leafy variety.
2.  Noodles are really small but dense dumplings.
3.  Hungarian wines are surprising good – an undiscovered secret in my opinion.  Explore beyond the usual hype of Bulls Blood (not really blood, but it is a red) and Tokaj (white) – there are many very good varieties to choose from.  My favorite wines came from the Villany region.
4.  Try anything that is made with cottage cheese – sounds weird but trust me!  Also, a must – bread with fat….I’m still dreaming of it!
5.  If you’re in a restaurant and don’t know what to order and can’t communicate, when all else fails, order paprikash.
6.  Most Hungarians eat a heavy lunch and a lighter dinner.  As a result, many local restaurants close at 3 or 4 (tourist areas excepting).

Above all, just relax and have fun – Hungary is a country with so much to offer, you can’t go wrong!

Enchanted in Palm Springs, CA

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Last year I had the opportunity to go to Palm Springs, CA twice.  Both times were a bit out of season, in September and October, so it was rather hot and sticky – it is a desert after all.  Fortunately I was joined by great company and indulged in refreshing swims every day.

The first trip was to the La Quinta Resort (a Waldorf Astoria property), which was simply beautiful.  Situated against the backdrop of stunning red mountains, the scenery was breaktaking.  The resort is comprised of casitas (small villas), restaurants, a spa, and conference facilities.

The casitas were lovely complete with fireplaces and a true sense of seclusion.  They are arranged in groups so they form little communities around pools.  Each pool had roughly four to six casitas surrounding it, making it feel like your own private oasis.

The resort itself has a number of restaurants and the food was quite good.  The best thing I had there was the margarita at Adobe Grill.  Honestly, the best margarita I’ve ever had with the perfect blend of tart and sweet, citrus and salt.  Just writing about it makes me crave for one!

My second visit was for work to the Hyatt in downtown Palm Springs – a completely different experience.  It was a very good hotel, convenient to all the attractions and restaurants downtown but lacked the relaxed romance and charming warmth of the LaQuinta.

All in all, I’d recommend going closer to the season (ie winter – November to April).  The rest of the year some of the local attractions are not open and it can be oppressively hot.  Not matter the time of the year, though, I hope I get to return sometime soon, there’s a margarita with my name on it!

Check out LaQuinta, its well worth a visit:

Going Down Under? Don’t Forget Your Visa!


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Craving a smear of Vegemite? Thinking of heading Down Under? Don’t forget to apply for your visa!  I’ll be heading there for a quick turn work trip in a couple of weeks and am getting ready.

To visit, Australia requires an Electronic Travel Authority (aka ETA).  You can apply for an ETA online, but you cannot be in Australia when you do so.  According to their website, “The ETA allows people to visit Australia for short-term tourism or business purposes of up to three months. There is an AUD20 service fee only for an online application for each ETA applicant. An ETA is available to passport holders from over 30 countries, regions and locations.” 

To learn more about Australian Electronic Travel Authority, click here:

Applying was easy and they sent me the approval very quickly with instructions.  In addition, a day or so later I got another email from the Authority outlining a few more benefits…..A few months ago I applied and was accepted into the US Trusted Traveler program.  It basically means Uncle Sam did a background check and interviewed me so I can reenter the US from trips without going through the long customs/immigration lines.  According to the Aussie email, “Late last year, Australian Customs and Border Protection opened up access to its automated border processing system, SmartGate, to U.S. Trusted Travelers. Now when you arrive in Australia, you can bypass the passport processing queues and self-process using an ePassport.”

US Trusted Travelers can use SmartGate when flying into Australia without any additional due diligence.  FANTASTIC!  It will take me more than 25 hours of travel to get there and I’m flying coach (since my company is paying and there are no upgrades available!) so I imagine I’ll look a bit like these jet lagged people once I arrive!

Needless to say, the thought of not having to deal with long passport lines when I arrive is a welcome relief. 

To learn more about the US Trusted Traveler Program, click here:

Sail Into The Sunset – Newport, Rhode Island

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Newport, Rhode Island is widely considered the sailing capital of the world, with a rich history in all things nautical.  A beautiful place to visit, it has more surviving colonial buildings than any other city, brick streets, and that intangible crisp quaintness of a New England town.

There are so many things to see and do here, including The Breakers, Cliff Walk, and Castle Hill.  There are multitudes of articles on all of those places, each worth spending time visiting.  I won’t focus on them here, though.  If you follow my blog, you know I’m a water girl and elect to spend my time on the water as often as possible.  With that spirit, last fall I had the opportunity to take a group of business colleagues on a sunset sail that was more enjoyable than any round of golf.

I used 12 Meter Charters and booked a trip aboard The Heritage.  Twelve of us boarded on a perfect day, with calm waters and just enough wind. I’ve been sailing for years and am a certified sailing captain, but even I was in complete awe of the beauty of this boat and the deft capabilities of its crew.  In addition to showing us the splendors of the area, they served us a catered dinner as we toured the coast.  The gentle rocking of the boat, lobster roll in hand, and the stunning mansions of Newport framed with hues of an orange and pink sunset created one of those perfect moments that somehow make everything worthwhile.

While my favorite, water is not the only playground there.  I also got to spend an evening on an impromptu bar crawl, which I highly recommend!  Having stayed at the perfectly positioned Hyatt on Goat Island, we strolled downtown, hopping from restaurants to pubs to bars, sampling local brews and seafood along the way.  Some of the local breweries include Newport Storm, Coddington, and Coastal Extreme.  We tried them all (perhaps more than once!) and then stumbled back to the Hyatt without ever having to take a cab.  If you’re in town with friends, its the perfect way to spend the evening.

I’ve been in the area for work several times over the last year and found the fall to be my favorite.   The weather was still moderate and it wasn’t overly crowded.  During this time, the Hyatt, which also has a lovely spa, offers really good rates during the off season.  On the other hand, the regattas that are such fun to watch happen during the summer (see the schedule below).  Ultimately, Newport is a place you can’t go wrong visiting, no matter what the season.

Annual 12 Meter Regattas in Newport:
 •New York Yacht Club’s Annual Regatta – June
 •New York Yacht Club’s Race Week – July (biennially)
 •Sparkman & Stephens Regatta – July
 •Museum of Yachting’s Classic Yacht Regatta and Parade – September
 •12 Meter Championships – September
Newport Sailing Events and Regattas (non-12 meter boats)
•Newport’s Spring Boat Show – May
 •Newport to Bermuda Sailing Race – June
 •Annapolis to Newport Sailing Race – June
 •Newport International Boat Show – September
12 Meter Charters, Inc.
49 Bowen’s Wharf, 3rd Floor
Newport, RI 02840
800.820.1223 or 401.851.1216

Boston Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops – A Holiday Must See

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This holiday season I had an opportunity to go to the Boston Symphony Holiday Pops.  It was an exquisite show, complete with classics and a few unexpected pieces.  Going to the symphony always carries with it a sense of excitement and culture, but pair it with the magic of Christmastime, chilly air, on the arm of a good looking guy and it turns into a memorable evening.

One of the highlights of the evening was that they invited Boston Bruins hockey players each night to narrate “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”  The league was on strike and it was an amusing intro to say the least.  That paired with a few heartwarming sing alongs created an atomosphere of jolly holiday fun.

It may be important to note the seating in the hall is very crowded, with tables and chairs to accomodate full service.  It’s a delight to be able to order champage throughout the night without waiting for intermission but I must say the food leaves a bit to be desired.

If you’re in town, this annual event is a must see.  Take your kids, your loved ones, or even someone you don’t like because this show will brighten your day, make you smile, and put you in a holiday mood.