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I’m at Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort, a 4,047-hectare dude ranch about 30 minutes outside of Santa Barbara, Calif., and I’m riding a horse called Zippo through the Santa Ynez Valley. There is something primordial and cinematic about the landscape here: an emerald vastness that looks like it still belongs to the Spanish vaqueros, conjuring […]
Canadian Traveller magazine
Almost every year when I was growing up in Toronto, I used to visit my grandmother at her condo in Palm Beach, Florida. Sometime around the first frost – when my friends at school (the ones with ski-lift tickets adhered to their winter jackets) started talking excitedly about things like slaloming and double-black diamonds – […]
When my mom was nine years old, she, her sister and her mother moved from their home of Casablanca to Morocco’s capital, Rabat. They left behind my mother’s father, and also Casablanca’s vast boulevards and its bleach-white art deco buildings for the clamour and colour of Rabat’s Jewish ghetto. There, they moved in with my […]
Casablanca’s romantic past inspires a trip to Morocco—but its current buzz is the real surprise By OLIVIA STREN I have landed in the pages of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. That thought hits me as we pull up to our hotel in Casablanca. One of this Moroccan city’s newest lodgings, the Hôtel and Spa Le Doge occupies […]
OLIVIA STREN falls under the sensuous spell of Mexico’s most celebrated chef. In Mexican writer Laura Esquivel’s novel and film Like Water for Chocolate, heroine Tita weeps into a giant bowl of cake batter, salting—and bewitching—it with tears of longing and thwarted passion. When Tita prepares a quail dish for the lover she is denied, she […]
A spectrum of South Pacific blue does funny things to the mind.
Acacia trees spread across the horizon like parasols. Laura, a young giraffe, lingers in the shade with the grace of a Henry James heroine at a garden party. Her seven-foot-tall, eight month-old son, Gordon, glides through blond grasses, while weaver birds career through jacarandas like winged lemons. At six p.m. sharp, Cosmos Mutinda, a staffer at […]