A Baby Friendly Week in Arizona: Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tucson

When you tell people that you’re going to Arizona for holiday, you’re met with several reactions: (1) Oh, I hear it’s great for golfing, (2) Oh, I hear the spas are nice, (3) my grandparents live there. Basically no one is all that excited for your trip, and they’re wondering why you didn’t go to LA instead. But Arizona is an underrated destination–there’s a lot of great food to be had, excellent happy hours seem to be the norm, and it’s especially kid friendly. After spending a week here, you’ll be kicking yourself thinking why am I paying $8 for a slice of cake and for my kids to play in a tiny museum when my money could go so much further in Arizona. Here’s a baby friendly itinerary of how we spent a week in Scottsdale, Phoenix and Tucson with the kids. Don’t worry, there are James Beard award winners and Tasting Table/Bon Appetit vetted restaurants in this Arizona itinerary.

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Baby Friendly London Weekend Itinerary

We decided to travel to London with our two very young children (5 months and 22 months), and I was determined not to water down our itinerary with bad, family-oriented chain restaurants and trips to the playground. I wanted to do the things that I as an adult would want to do, with some slight modifications. Luckily, London was perfect for this. The city in general is extremely baby friendly, and youngsters are welcome at the major cultural attractions. And I was most impressed by and grateful for the baby friendly attitudes at restaurants. We went to real restaurants that were Michelin caliber, not some Rainforest Cafe or a Zizzi, and they all had highchairs and greeted our little ones with a smile. It was a refreshing change from the attitudes in New York restaurants, where the staff will usually greet babies with either panic or judgmental side-eye, because they would rather not have them there at all. I already loved London to begin with, and now it holds an even more special place in my heart because it was so nice to the babies! If you plan on taking your little ones on a weekend getaway to London, you can reference the following itinerary for some ideas. You can be sure it will include cultural activities and real meals that both adults and children will enjoy.

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Paris City Guide

Eating well in Paris isn’t hard to do, but there are many ways to do it. You could go big and do something fancy at Alain Ducasse or nosh your way through croissants, cheese and tasty snacks. This guide to Paris is for those who like something more casual, the people who are fans of going to a bar with some atmosphere that also happens to make very good food, where you don’t have to dress up, and you can be in and out in less than 2 hours. Paris has perfected this style of eating, and so, with one exception, here’s a list of some places that do this very well.

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Madrid City Guide

a boat ride in el retiro park
a night out in chueca
a rainy day in plaza mayor

Of all the famous European cities, Madrid is one of the most accessible. It has top-tier cultural attractions, great shopping, excellent food and a vibrant nightlife, but it never feels prohibitively expensive or out of reach like it might in Paris or London. As an example, I was able to book a massage at The Lab Room, which is an upscale spa that Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop recommended, and the service was a reasonable 65 euros. Had it been New York, it definitely would have cost me twice as much. Barcelona might be more renowned for its restaurants, but Madrid has plenty of options that won’t leave your palate disappointed. Here is a list of some cafes, bars and restaurants that should be on your radar when visiting this capital.

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A Week in Germany: Frankfurt to Munich

Days 1-2 – Frankfurt, Germany

the “manhattan” of europe

Frankfurt is known as the Manhattan of Europe because of its skyscrapers and its reputation as a finance capital. That nickname may be a bit of a stretch, because in reality, Frankfurt is much quieter and smaller than New York City, and its skyscrapers don’t stretch quite as high. It’d be more accurate to call it the Zurich of Germany or something along those lines. It’s posh, clean, but not terribly exciting at a first glance. It is, however, very lovely and livable, and a stroll along the Main River on a summer’s day is especially picturesque. It’s a great way to dip your toe into the German culture before venturing out into the more boisterous Bavarian beer halls later in the week.Read More