From Tokyo to Tahiti

By Kristen Gray

This month, our intrepid explorers soak up the sun in Capri, scout glaciers in Alaska and swim with the sharks in Mo’orea.

Polynesian paradise

“Swimming with the sharks and stingrays in Mo’orea was exhilarating,” says Nicole Rossi of her recent honeymoon with husband David Espinoza. “We swam off from the crowd of tourists and chased the sharks, where we got some amazing photos.” The couple stayed in Tahiti the first two nights before jetting off to the South Pacific island. “I felt like I needed my sunglasses on the entire trip,” Rossi recalls. “The islands are so vivid. The water is so clear—the bluest I have ever seen. Also, whenever you looked down there were white seashells.” Next stop: Bora Bora. The newlyweds stayed in overwater bungalows at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa. “When we arrived, we were greeted with a vanilla iced tea, their version of a Thai iced tea. The hotel had exceptional service,” she notes. “On one of our last nights, we shared a solid-pink sunset. I remember it being so peaceful and perfect.”

La dolce vita

Every year, for the last 20 years, Tatiana Sorokko and husband Serge retreat to Capri, Italy, to visit friends. “Coming to Capri is like coming home,” she says. “Capri is very special because although it is busy, you can hide away, as if it was just the two of you.” Ristorante Villa Verde is a favorite place to dine. “We know the owners and have seen the restaurant evolve. They have a fabulous wine list. Da Paolino restaurant is quite romantic too, with beautiful lemon trees. They serve a great grilled mozzarella with marinara sauce.” For unique fine jewelry, Sorokko praises Alberto e Lina, and “the beach club Lido del Faro is perfect for swimming in the sea and grabbing lunch.” The model always stays at the Grand Hotel Quisisana, and appreciates the island’s 1960s fashion aesthetic.  “There is a real sense of glamour,” she muses. “Everyone is very chic in their resort attire.”

Eating well in Japan

“We quickly learned that taking trains everywhere was the way to go,” Stephan Schneck says of his trip with girlfriend Danielle Schultz. “It’s a lot easier than it was historically because of how integrated Google Maps is with the train system. We rented a pocket Wi-Fi through the Japan Rail Pass, which allowed us to easily navigate a notoriously confusing transit system.” While they loved scenic Kyoto, the foodies followed their noses to culinary capital Osaka for “the most amazing sushi dinners.” The pair made a detour to Kobe, origin of the famous beef, and ended their adventures in Tokyo. “It was neat to start in a very small city and work our way up to a major metropolitan area, almost like seeing how Japan has evolved to modern day,” Schneck adds.

All aboard to The Last Frontier

San Franciscans Nicole Shea-Geroux and husband Esan toured Canada via a Princess Cruises ship, then hopped on a White Pass and Yukon Route narrow-gauge train in Skagway, Alaska. “Skagway Fish Co. has the most delicious crab cakes,” says Shea-Geroux. “We also visited Olivia’s Alaskan Bistro and Historic Inn, which has a lovely local vibe.” The highlight of the trip began in the state capital, Juneau. “After passing the bald eagle sanctuary, which was neat in its own right, we arrived at the airport to start our Juneau helicopter tour,” she remembers. “We passed Mendenhall Glacier on the way to the momentous Herbert Glacier. The vast landscape was so serene and vivid that it seemed fake. Apparently, glaciers absorb every color but blue, so there were prisms and glowing blue ice for miles.”

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