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1,100 CAR LOOP: IT’S NOT A TOY, IT’S ART

Chris Burden’s Metropolis II is an breathtaking kinetic sculpture (If you’re into toys like me, it’s breathtaking!). It is like every young boy’s dream come true.

This sculpture featured at Broad Museum in Los Angeles is modeled after a fast paced, frenetic modern city. Steel beams form an eclectic grid interwoven with an elaborate system of 18 roadways, including one six lane freeway, and HO scale train tracks. Miniature cars speed through the city at 240 scale miles per hour; every hour, the equivalent of approximately 100,000 cars circulate through the dense network of buildings.

A collector bought the installation for “millions” of dollars, but was gracious enough to loan it to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for display over the next 10 years. Thanks Mr Millionaire. We appreciate it!

CARS

 

 

Sound of Music Tour: One of my favorite things

250A1732Sound of Music is our family’s favorite movie. We love it so much that during my first trip to Salzburg, Austria a few years ago, I researched all the important addresses used in the movie and drove to a few of them. The trip took a scary turn when I ended up in the wrong part of town and my car got stuck in a small, deserted, muddy road and it started getting dark and cold.

So when my family and I visited Salzburg for the holidays recently, they suggested we take the official Sound of Music City tours run by the Salzburg City Tours (http://www.salzburgcitytours.com). The tour, which has been Salzburg’s most popular tour for over 35 years, lasted about 4 hours at only 40 euros per person. It was worth every penny! We all had an amazing time, and we learned a lot of facts about the movie that were not available online. The guides were very funny, helpful, enthusiastic and knowledgeable (and we even sang songs from the movie on the drive to the different locations.)

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Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof is German for “LUXURY”

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have stayed at several hotels in Germany and so far, Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof is the best hotel I’ve ever stayed at in the country. My room was very spacious, nicely fitted and luxurious. The bed was so big and comfortable, I was tempted to stay there all day. The bathroom had very beautiful fixtures, Egyptian towels, marble flooring, robes and a great choice of toiletries.

It is located in the heart of the city within walking distance to the shopping district, financial district and the old town. Everything is within walking distance including the train station and the scenic river two blocks away. If you choose to hire a limo or a cab, the airport is only within 12-15 minute drive. If you’re a foodie, you don’t need to go far. They have a Michelin-starred restaurant right in the hotel.

When I made the reservation, I requested for a room on the lower floor. Upon arrival, I was assigned a room on the 2nd floor. I was very impressed. This sounds like a simple request, but you have no idea how many times a hotel doesn’t read their notes.

The following afternoon, the front desk offered to take my shopping bags up to my room when they found out that I was running late to my next appointment.

The turndown service came on time every single night and replaced all our used towels and straightened our bed. The staff at the spa were also so accommodating and friendly. If you have time, make sure you try their tea service at the lobby – IT IS DECADENT (and surprisingly inexpensive).

All 261 rooms and 42 suites, enjoy an ambiance of luxury and first-class service. If you’re looking for an amazing (and luxurious) place to stay at – Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof is THE place.

 

PHOTOS BY: Edwin Santiago

PHOTOS BY: Edwin Santiago

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EISERNER STEG: LOVERS’ LANE IN FRANKFURT

I was walking across a bridge in Frankfurt so I can photograph the financial district of the city when I started noticing that the tourists were taking photos of the bridge railing instead of the city skyline.

There were thousands of padlocks all along the bridge from people all over the world telling their story of why they were there; to announce an engagement, profess their love, celebrate an anniversary, announce the birth of a child, or to remember a loved one. Eiserner Steg have become a symbol of ever lasting love for romantic couples.

The bridge also offers amazing views of the city’s skyscrapers on one side and historic buildings on other side.

Someday I will profess my love to my future husband on this bridge … after all, fairy tales do come true (And it can happen to me!).

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LIVE ON THE EDGE, KIWI STYLE

While my American friends were celebrating a peaceful Thanksgiving in the US, I’ve decided to sign up for “Dart River Cruise.” I thought- “Wow, how relaxing.” Little did I know that this is what Dart River Cruise is.

The ride lasts for about an hour and 15 minutes at a speed of 50 miles per hour (I’m pretty sure it can go even faster). The river is quite shallow and has lots of twists and turns, with massive boulders at each turn. Dart River is in a very windy valley, and the boat has no protective glass or seatbelt.  As you can see, I was very calm. (NOT!)

To experience this, visit www.dartriver.co.nz/ and live on the edge.

 

MORTUARA BIRD SANCTUARY CRUISE. SOUNDS AMAZING!

Cruised the majestic Marlborough Sounds aboard E-Ko Tours’ vessel on a scenic journey to Mortuara Island. Their catamaran boat was so comfortable and their staff were so knowledgeable and friendly (they even made us hot chocolate, tea and shortbread cookies for the trip- YUM!). We saw some dusky dolphins, fur seals, penguins, king shag (one of the rarest birds in the world), yellow crown kakkariki, saddleback and numerous sea birds from the deck of the boat- what a great experience!

As part of the tour, we hiked up Mortuara Island where the view was spectacular! This tour is a MUST! To book, go to www.e-ko.nz

You won’t regret it! It’s a life changing experience!

 

Harvesting the world famous New Zealand mussel

Any Kiwi will recommend you try New Zealand’s famous green-lipped mussel (or sometimes simply called the New Zealand mussel). That’s because you can only find them here in New Zealand and everyone’s proud of them.

While on the water taxi to my hotel in Raetihi, I asked the driver what makes them so famous and he offered to take a detour to take me to his very own mussel farm. “You should have a taste,” Pete insisted.

After our short adventure, he gave me all the mussels and told me I can give it to the hotel chef at Raetihi Lodge and they can prepare it for me in time for lunch.

WHAT AN AMAZING DAY! I had an amazing lunch and met an amazing guy- thank you Pete! (Kiwi hospitality at its finest).