Last week, I went to New York for Forrester’s Forum For Customer Experience. While I was in town, I grabbed dinner with a friend at THE SMITH (Midtown). Dinner was great! Service was excellent from the time we walked in. We had reservations but the place was crowded and they were unable to seat us right… Continue reading EAT: THE SMITH / NYC


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SHANGHAI: Getting There, Pt. 1

Obtaining a Chinese Visa Entry requirements do change. Be sure to verify information with the State Department or the Chinese Consulate website before you begin planning for your trip. Unless you hold a passport from Japan, Singapore or Brunei, you’ll need a visa for the People’s Republic of China. If you’re a citizen of the… Continue reading SHANGHAI: Getting There, Pt. 1

SHANGHAI: Quick Intro

When learning of Shanghai’s past you’ll often hear the words colorful, scandalous, glamourous and decadent. Spend some time in the city and it’s no wonder why it was referred to a “Paris of the East”. Once upon a time foreign governments were given areas of land to build and enforce laws as they saw fit.… Continue reading SHANGHAI: Quick Intro

Travel Essentials

With all the gadgets, travel aids and products designed to make travel more comfortable it was tough to decide what were my favorites. After some consideration, I got the list down to what I’ll be taking with me on my 17-hour journey to China next week.


I’ve heard about GUGLHUPF for a while but haven’t had a chance to stop by myself until this year’s trip to Durham. The restaurant was much larger than it looked from the outside; plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. I opted for the half sandwich and salad combo– grilled ham and cheese and house salad.… Continue reading GUGLHUPF BAKERY, PÂTISSERIE & CAFE, Durham, NC


Last year, I spotted the SCRATCH table at the Durham Farmers’ Market but didn’t get a chance to sample the much-lauded fare. Then I heard that chef/owner Phoebe Lawless opened up a brick-and-mortar shop in Downtown Durham. It was no surprise these tasty sweet and savory treats would have lots of fans. They recently made… Continue reading SCRATCH, Durham, NC

RUE CLER, Durham, NC

RUE CLER is a restaurant, bakery and cafe located in Downtown Durham. Rue Cler’s owners–John Vandergrift and Chris Stinnett–also own Pop’s Restaurant in the Brightleaf Square/Peabody Place district. We stopped by for lunch and I was really excited to sample a French-style sandwich. We started with the onion soup and followed that up with Moules… Continue reading RUE CLER, Durham, NC

Get Grillin’ Vol. I: The Portable Grill

Heat waves hopefully behind us, we’re finally in for great grilling weather!  Instead of choosing between the vast number of full-sized grills we decided to focus on portable versions. Perfect for smaller patios, tailgating and travel, these are our favorites: Clockwise, from top left: WEBER Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill This is the one I have at… Continue reading Get Grillin’ Vol. I: The Portable Grill