Isla Mujeres: Ixchel’s Island

Isla Mujeres or Island of the Women earned its name in 1517 when Spanish explorers discovered statues of Ixchel, the Mayan Moon Goddess on this island just 25 minutes by ferry from Cancun.  Ixchel’s temple is still here, perched atop a rocky cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea in Garrafon Reef Park – it’s where Mayan…

Carla Hall’s “Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration”

This spring, just a day or so before she was in Benton Harbor doing her cooking demonstration at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores, both Carla Hall—and the world—learned her long-running show, ABC’s Daytime Emmy-winning lifestyle series The Chew was being canceled. “I need a job,” she told the crowded roomful of people….

Anne of Green Gables: Read the Book & Visit Prince Edward Island

I never read Anne of Green Gables, the 1908 novel by L. M. Montgomery about an orphan named Anne Shirley who is sent to live on a farm owned by a middle-aged brother and sister on Prince Edward Island (PEI). I’m not sure why since it’s considered a children’s classic, having been translated into 20…

Mackinac Island Cottage Cookbook: Savor Summer All Year Long

Now with summer officially over, we can hold on to the season by savoring can hold on to the season by savoring the Mackinac Island Cottage Cookbook (Touch Down Books 2017; $29.95) written by two former Southwest Michigan residents, Barbara Toms and her daughter Marcia Dunnigan.  For years, their families and friends have been gathering together…

Queretaro: Colonial Charm in the Highlands of Mexico

My first morning in Queretaro, about a 90 minute drive north of Mexico City, I walked along the cobblestone streets in the city’s historic center to the fairy tale castle-like La Casa de la Marquesa, once a private home built in the 1756, now a restaurant and hotel. The menu reflects the vast citrus groves,…

Tiffani Thiessen Pull Up a Chair

  Only six or so when she started helping out in the kitchen, Tiffani Thiessen grew up in a family where dinners were a gathering time to enjoy great cooking and conversations. She upped her game from traditional American fare when she and other stars from “Saved by the Bell” toured in Europe. “It definitely…