• By Land,  Within the US

    The Royal Blues Hotel (Deerfield Beach, FL)

    The Journey Continues. How are we Carrying-On? For some of my friends in the Northeast, the answer is, sadly, “Not well.” I can’t say that I blame them—it’s been a rough ten months. The COVID fatigue is real. It was day six of our road trip, December 5, 2020, and I was starting to think we left town just in time when we hit our first taste of warm weather. Would it be too much to call it a breath of fresh air? We’d just entered Deerfield Beach, not far from Fort Lauderdale, and I was becoming more and more convinced that Florida has gotten a bad rap. People are…

  • By Land,  Within the US

    The Lodge & Club at Ponte Vedra Beach (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL)

    On the Road Again. We pulled into the Jacksonville Beach area around 5 p.m.—just in time for our second COVID test of the trip. The staff at Crucial Care was extremely organized and professional, and (thankfully) we both tested negative. If I am being honest, I was managing my expectations regarding COVID protocols in Florida. We’ve all seen the news, where the maskless are carrying on in crowded indoor bars. There are bad apples everywhere, but was this the norm or the exception? With our safety (and the safety of those we were visiting) in mind, I conducted exhaustive research into the places we were going to stay. We hit…

  • By Land,  Within the US

    The Ballantyne Hotel (Charlotte, NC)

    The Journey Continues. Night four of our road trip was spent at the impressive Ballantyne Hotel in Charlotte, NC. Readers of Carrying-On know that I rarely write about large hotels, as I typically prefer more intimate accommodations, but the Ballantyne Hotel—part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection—is an exception simply because it is exceptional. The hotel is larger than life, with grand chandeliers framed by wraparound staircases, ultra-high ceilings, and floor-length windows that overlook the golf course. The evening we arrived, the lobby was still decorated for the holidays with big, beautiful Christmas trees and glistening lights. They were just finishing afternoon tea, and I so wanted to sit by the fire,…

  • By Land,  Within the US

    Wentworth Mansion (Charleston, SC)

    The Road Trip Continues. For nights two and three of our recent road trip, my husband and I stayed in Charleston at the magnificent Wentworth Mansion. A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SMLH), this historic mansion was a pleasant surprise of sophistication and comfort at a time when we were still dipping our toes back into traveling. Quite simply, the Wentworth Mansion exceeded every expectation. After a long day of driving, we pulled into the secluded parking lot a little after dark. (descriptor) The Wentworth Mansion is an ornate boutique hotel in a prime location of Charleston. We traveled up the stone pathway to the entrance…

  • By Land,  Within the US

    On the Road Again

    What a long, strange trip it’s been. I am, of course, referring to 2020. Like so many others over the last ten months, I’ve been asking myself, Are we there yet??? The answer is obviously no—but we appear to be getting close (or at least closer). My last post, from the Brazilian Court, a wonderful little hotel in Palm Beach, was on February 29, 2020. Little did I know at the time how the world was about to change. Since then, my husband and I have been working to keep our business afloat, our employees paid, and all of us safe. We’ve also suspended nearly all entertaining and travel. In…