My dad has had Masters tickets for decades and loved making the trek to Augusta National every year. When my mom was still alive, he would sometimes take her although her interest was mainly in how pretty the azaleas were.
I finally had my own Masters experience a few years back and while I’m not a big golf fan, loved attending this iconic event. I stood about six feet from the (pre-sleazy) Tiger Woods and enjoyed hiking the impossibly green, perfectly manicured course from hole to hole, checking out the vast variety of clothing, which for men ranged from khaki shorts and polo shirts to … khaki pants and polo shirts.
One of the best parts of attending, of course, is enjoying the dirt cheap food and beer. I don’t think the menu has ever changed much and includes barbecue and egg salad, ham and turkey sandwiches. Prices range from $1.50 to $3.00. Beer ranges from $4 for domestic to $5 for imported. That’s right — you can get a sandwich and beer for less than $6.
But my favorite is the pimento cheese sandwich, available for $1.50. While some people consider golf to be a high-brow sport, pimento cheese is definitely not. Let’s start with the bread. No fancy-pants multi-grain, artisan loafs here. It’s white. (I’m resisting the urge to make a comment about the attendees at the tournament.)
As for the recipe, well, there seems to be some mystery around it and no one has the real, true, official Masters recipe. Apparently it has been the source of controversy, leading to Pimento Gate in 2013.
So a man in Aiken, SC made the sandwiches for years. Then the golf club switched vendors, and peeved about losing the business, Mr. Cheese Man wasn’t about to share the recipe. The new vendor tried to recreate it, but had trouble finding the exact right cheese.
They finally found the correct cheese by going to the man’s suppliers for mayo, pimentos and cheese. But there was still a secret ingredient missing. The recipe they have today is as close as they can come.
It’s like the recipe for Coke, reportedly locked in a vault. And Google turned up more several varieties, all claiming to be close to the real thing.
I even saw some versions with blue cheese, which I can’t believe is in there. That’s too fancy and too expensive to be sold for $1.50 alongside egg salad. So I’m going with this version adapted from www.theteesheet.com. Because these folks put a lot of time and thought into it. And because it has processed American cheese in it. That just seems right.
The Masters Pimento Cheese Recipe
Serving size: 2-3 sandwiches
Calorie Count: You do not want to know. Just look at the ingredients. Forget about that and just enjoy.
A few years ago, I was thrilled to introduce my husband to the magical mystery tour that is the city of Venice. I wanted him to see it before it we needed rain boots and possibly a kayak to navigate through St. Mark’s Square.
Venice is one of my favorite cities. Which doesn’t make me unique. The city welcomes more than 20 million visitors a year and tourists outnumber the locals 600 to 1.
Is the City of Water in danger of being trampled by these millions of tourists and destroyed by rising tides? Bill Weir, host of a new show on CNN called The Wonder List with Bill Weir, takes a look at the future of Venice in an episode this Sunday at 10 PM.
Other episodes of the new show will include travels to the Galapagos Islands, Ikaria, India, the Swiss Alps, the Dead Sea and the Everglades.
As reluctant as I am to add yet another show to our growing listed of DVRed titles, this one rates the space. For a preview of the episode, click here.
We’ve all had that moment, right? You’re in the middle of that clever tweet, funny text message exchange or capturing a photo of something amazing. And, …. your battery dies. Here’s a trio of cute bags that charge your phone, ensuring you won’t be left, well, in the clutch.
I wish my lifestyle allowed me to only carry this darling little clutch. It has room for essentials, but I always seem to need more, with glasses, a big wallet, yada, yada, yada. But it’s perfect to throw in my larger bag, and when I’m dining in a hotel, I can carry this with me to the restaurant to hold my hotel key and phone.
It’s made of soft vegan leather, has a detachable strap and polka dot interior. It’s compatible with most USB devices and can charge your smartphone once. $49.99 at www.chicbuds.com
A friend told me about the Mighty Purse awhile ago, but it was out of stock for some time. Now available, this cute faux leather clutch comes in a variety of colors. It works with any device that uses a micro USB and can recharge your smartphone up to 2 times. The interior includes a coin compartment, hidden cable compartment and credit card pocket.$99.99 on Amazon.
The most expensive option, Everpurse is also the largest and has no cords to bother with. It works by simply placing your phone on a charging mat ($59) overnight.
In the morning you just slip your phone in an interior pocket and it can charge your phone up to two times. Use it as clutch, wristlet or crossbody. It comes in black, sapphire and nude. $249.
It’s possible I missed out on some amazing conversation/opportunity/life-changing event by not chatting it up with people around me on airplanes. But I figure my odds of that happening are about .05%, while my odds of some chatterbox boring the eyes out of my skull stand at 99.95%. So I maintain an avoid-talk-at-all-costs policy when I’m flying. The only exception is within five minutes of landing because there is a definite end to the conversation.
Generally, just reading my iPad is enough to ward off any attempts to engage me. When I really need to avoid conversation, like with scuzzy people with outstretched hands on the subways, I employ the “I don’t speak English” excuse.
I can’t think of any scenario where I would carry on this item, the B-Tourist. Made of a stretchy fabric that you loop around the seat back in front of you and your headrest, it allows you to create a bizarre cocoon-like environment. A selling point is the side pocket where you can store your phone, earbuds or snacks.
But let’s discuss a few logistical considerations. How do your seat mates get past this thing – by doing the limbo? How do flight attendants serve a drink to the guy with the window seat? And what about the poor fella sitting in front of you? His head is gonna spring right back into his lap if he tries to lean back on the headrest.
It’s not yet available for purchase but has been designed by Gal Bulka and Idan Noyberg. Until then, you could create a reasonable facsimile with a plus-sized tube top from Wal-Mart. Or not.
Foldable luggage. Just like adding wheels to suitcases, I’m wondering — what took so long? Why did we spend years walking lopsided while lugging those heavy-even-when-empty Samsonite monsters?
When we were looking at a new home to move into, there was one big consideration when considering space. Where would all the suitcases and travel-related paraphernalia go?
We found ample room in the 4th floor furnace area, which the HVAC guy was audibly displeased about and grunted his way around to check the unit. So it’s not ideal. And if you live in a smaller space or don’t want to devote a major percentage of your storage space to housing suitcases, you’ll want to check out the line of foldable luggage from Lipault, one of France’s leading luggage brands.
The collection has a variety of pieces, including satchels, duffles and business bags. I have the 22” wheeled carry-on, which holds just as much as my regular suitcase. But when it’s not in use, it folds down to just 4” wide so I can easily slide it under my bed or along the side of a closet.
The other benefit is the bright color. While I love my black Tumi suitcase, I have to resort to attaching various eye-catching accessories to it so I know it’s mine when it’s winding its way slowly along the baggage carousel. I have accidentally grabbed other people’s bags before I saw the yellow polka-dotted ribbon that identifies mine.
With the bright teal-colored Lipault suitcase, there’s no danger of that. I’ll be able to spot it from across the terminal. And I imagine that would also deter possible luggage thieves, as it’s so easily spottable.
So the French seem to bake better bread, raise children better, not get fat better and now they’ve done luggage better? I’m not ready to concede on all points, but this suitcase? Well, it’s a keeper.
On sale now for $129.99 in teal, purple, navy, tangerine and espresso.
Praia Do Rosa, Brazil; March 9-16 and 16-23, 2015
This company with the fun name has a unique mission: to lead weeklong wellness retreats around the world that encourage quiet time — and infuse them with physical activity and nightlife. The programs include vinyasa-style classes set to music that ranges from Outkast to Zeppelin, daily meditations, and other activities depending on the location. In Mexico, the retreat is at Playa Loma Bonita Villas where activities include surfing, horseback riding, stand up paddle boarding and nightlife. The Brazil retreats are held at Pousada Casa Do Ceo, where you can also take a samba lesson, hang-glide or go horseback riding. Rates, which include accommodations and all meals in Mexico and most meals in Brazil, start at $1,700 for shared accommodations.
Montezuma, Costa Rica; Ongoing
Taking a deep breath during yoga is more relaxing and healing when you can enjoy the ocean views and warm sea breezes from one of two yoga shalas at Anamaya Resort. You’ll feel even more cleansed as you indulge in gourmet organic food in a toxin-free environment in this remote rainforest setting. When you’re not in the downward dog or warrior pose, wander over to the three-tiered waterfall with natural pools to swim and dive, have a treatment at the spa, take a healthy cooking class, go horseback riding or journey to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches at Montezuma and Santa Teresa. Rates start at $795 for a week in shared accommodations.
The Westin Verasa Napa Girls Getaway Weekend
Napa, California; March 5-8, 2014
Wine has long been touted for its health benefits, including helping the heart. So a weekend devoted to wine, women and wellness seems like a natural fit — and what better place to host this perfect girlfriends’ getaway than Napa Valley? The weekend starts off in grand style with a four-course dinner at the Michelin Star restaurant La Toque, with wine pairings featuring wines produced by female winemakers. Get a jump on the day Friday morning, March 6, with a walk or run around downtown Napa with the Westin Verasa Napa’s running concierge or take a yoga class. Later in the day enjoy wine tasting and an evening wine tasting reception. Check out a makeup demo presented by 29 Cosmetics, attend a cleansing workshop, or just enjoy the heated saltwater pool. Room rates start at $159; activities start at $5.
A version of this article appears in the Holiday issue of Travelgirl magazine
Sandpearl Resort is a four-diamond luxury resort in Clearwater Beach with gorgeous wide beaches, a lovely spa and a warm welcome accompanied by a glass of Champagne at check-in.
Guests can enjoy lounging in Adirondack chairs and making S’mores over the fire pit.
Close by is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where we met Winter, whose story inspired the Dolphin Tale movies.
We explored the town of Clearwater on two wheels when we set off on the 7.5-mile Segway Adventure along the boardwalk, over the Clearwater Memorial Causeway.
I hadn’t picked up a tennis racquet since the 20th century, but the pros at The Resort at Longboat Key Club near Sarasota, Florida had me back in the swing of things in no time. Healthy travel is a particular focus at this four-diamond resort, which offers wellness packages that include a nutritional consultation, health-focused meals, spa treatments, and classes outdoors and in the newly renovated Mind & Motion Studio.
Guests can also enjoy exercising while playing any of the 45 holes of championship golf, strolling along the beach, or exploring the many shops and restaurants of charming nearby St. Armands Circle in Sarasota.
We’re the kind of people who show up pretty much on time for a party. And even though my husband often says, “Let’s stay just a little while,” we are usually making one last toast with the host and among the last to leave.
When it comes to new social media, however, I’m generally a little late. I kinda kept waiting for this “Twitter” thing to disappear so I wouldn’t have to add yet another method of writing to my increasing portfolio. But I finally caved in, took two young women in my husband’s office to lunch and asked for a tutorial over chicken curry sandwiches.
That’s been a few years now and I love sharing my life and travel trips in less than 140 characters, and am thrilled when I’m retweeted and followed. A major coup was when Taye Diggs followed me. But then I read that he follows close to 50,000 people so I’m not so special after all.
But the comedian Mike Birbiglia (@birbigs) did retweet me once and I forever count that as a coup.
Now, it’s time to Instagram. Yes, I know I’m late but I hope I can still join the fun. I’ve been on it a while but not really active. I’ve been the one standing in the corner picking all the cashews out of the nut bowl, while everyone else has been connecting, sharing, filtering, cropping, commenting and having all the fun.
I just started officially handling all the social media for Travelgirl magazine too, and we didn’t even have an Instagram account. We do now but we need more followers.
So I’m asking to jump into the party. Follow us and we’ll follow you back, and let the fun begin!
Instagram and Twitter @Travelgirlmag
Next up? Pinterest, of course! www.pinterest.com/travelgirlmag
I felt fairly pleased with my success. I had stripped on my pole, and then spent some time nymphing in my rather unusual outfit. Hey, it’s not what you’re thinking — I was standing in the cool, rushing waters of Rock Creek near Philipsburg, Montana, being instructed in my first-ever fly-fishing class. And my outfit? I was rubbered up in waders to keep me warm and dry. Maybe not my best look, but it worked well enough for me to cast my nymphs (wet flies) and catch two cutthroat trout, which I giggled over like a girl and promptly released.
It was my first time in Montana, and while I didn’t catch the fishing bug, I did fall in love with the all-inclusive Ranch at Rock Creek in Southwestern Montana, the only five-star ranch in the world. The realization of a dream for Jim Manley, the owner who lives in Connecticut and perused more than 500 ranches before purchasing the property in 2007, the ranch is set at the base of the John Long Mountains on 6,600 acres bordering the Deer Lodge National Forest. Continue reading
And the winner is — Dallas! Priceline released its list of the 15 most affordable cities today, based on the average daily room rate, and this Texas city came in number one with an average daily room rate (ADR) of $86.31. My hometown continues to make the list, with an average daily room rate for Atlanta of $96.99.
Rounding out the list are:
2. Salt Lake City — $86.31
3. Orlando, FL — $89.57
4. Charlotte, NC — $92.37
5. Phoenix, AZ — $93.44
6. Tampa, FL — $94.03
7. Las Vegas, NV — $96.27
8. Atlanta, GA — $96.99
9. Louisville, KY — $101.69
10. San Antonio, TX — $102.69
11. Houston, TX — $103.72
12. Orange County, CA — $106.69
13. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN — $107.91
14. Denver, CO — $109.20
15. Portland, OR — $109.30